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From the collection of the 


i a 


San Francisco, California 



F 1 9 '41 

VOL. XLI, No. 1 WHOLE No. 224 

January-February 1941 

Land and Freedom 

An International Journal of the Henry George Mo-cement Founded in 1901 


Four Decades of the Struggle for Freedom 

War and Post-War Reconstruction in 
Great Britain Canada France Denmark 

The Land Tax Fight in Oklahoma 

Tom W. Cheek, President Oklahoma Farmers' Union 

Section 2: A Legislative Framework 
for the Philosophy of Henry George 





An International Journal of the Henry George Movement 
(Founded by Joseph Dana Miller) 

Published Bi-Monthly by 
LAND AND FREEDOM, 150 Nassau Street, New York 




Please address all communications and make all 
remittances payable to Land and Freedom. 

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: $2.00 per year. Libraries and Colleges, $1.00. 
Special trial offer to students and graduates of the Henry George 
School of Social Science, $1.00 for one year. Payable in advance. 

Entered as second-class matter Oct. 2, 1913, at the Post Office, 
New York, N. Y., under the act of March 3, 1897. 

January-February 1941 

Vol. XLI, No. i 

WHOLE No. 224 


ENGLAND: Douglas J. J. Owen. 

CANADA: Herbert T. Owens. 

BRAZIL: Prof. Fidelino de Figueiredo. 

NEW ZEALAND: Hon. P. J. O'Regan, Wellington. 

T. E. McMillan, Matamata. 
SPAIN : Baldomero Argente, Madrid. 
BULGARIA : Lasar Karaivanove, Plovdiv. 
HUNGARY: J. J. Pikler, Budapest. 
FRANCK: Ing. I'avlos Giannclia 





THE CRITIC'S CRITICIZED Jacob Sclnvartzmau 17 




Douglas J. J. Owen 19 

CANADA'S \\.\KTIMK ECONOMY Herbert T. Owens.. 21 

FRANCE RETURNS TO THE SOIL I'avlos Giannelia 23 

IS IT TWILIGHT OR DAWN ? J. L. Bjorner 24 


THE INTEREST QUESTION' A. G. Huie . . . .'r 30 





\Vc declare: 

That the earth is the birthright of all Mankind 
and that all have an equal and unalienable right 
to its use. 

That man's need for the land is expressed by 
the Rent of Land ; that this Rent results from the 
presence and activities of the people; that it arises 
as the result of Natural Law, and that it there- 
fore should be taken to defray public expenses. 

That as a result of permitting land owners to 
take for private purposes the Rent of Land it 
becomes necessary to impose the burdens of tax- 
ation on the products of labor and industry, which 
are the rightful property of individuals, and to 
which the government has no moral right. 

That the diversion of the Rent of Land into 
private pockets and away from public use is a 
violation of Natural Law, and that the evils aris- 
ing out of our unjust economic system are the 
penalties that follow such violation, as effect fol- 
lows cause. 

We therefore demand : 

That the full Rent of Land be collected by the 
government in place of all direct and indirect 
taxes, and that buildings, machinery, implements 
and improvements on land, all industry, commerce, 
thrift and enterprise, all wages, salaries and in- 
comes, and every product of labor and intellect be 
entirely exempt from taxation. 

That there be no restrictions of any kind imposed 
upon the exchange of goods within or among 


Taking the full Rent of Land for public purposes 
would insure the fullest and best use of all land. 
Putting land to its fullest and best use would create 
an unlimited demand for labor. Thus the job would 
seek the man, not the man the job, and labor would 
receive its full share of the product. 

The freeing from taxation of every product of 
labor, including commerce and exchange, would 
encourage men to build and to produce. It would 
put an end to legalized robbery by the government. 

The public collection of the Rent of Land, by 
putting and keeping all land forever in use to the 
full extent of the people's needs, would insure real 
and permanent prosperity for all. 

"It would require less than the fiin/crs of the two hands to enumerate those who, from I'lato down, rank w^illi Henry 
Geortje ainoiii/ the world's social philosophers . . . No men, no graduate of a lii</lter educational institution, has a rii/lit 
to rei/ard himself as an educated man in social thought unless lie lias son:,- first hand acquaintance with the theoretical 
contribution of this </rcat American thinker." JOHN DEW ICY. 

Land and Freedom 

Vol. XLI 


No. 1 

Comment and Reflection 

TT may be that there is a widespread awakening to the 
L importance of a reserve of free land to the prosperity of 
our country; that the vanishing of our frontiers is the cause 
of many of our present woes, including unemployment, low 
wages and depressions. It may even be that the influence of 
Henry George's teachings on this subject is permeating the 
American mind. At any rate, Mr. W. J. Cameron saw fit to 
speak out against this seeming tide of opinion in a recent 
talk on the Ford Sunday Evening Hour, broadcast over a 
nation-wide network, on the subject of "Frontiers." 

TN the course of his talk, Mr. Cameron said: "To hear 
* some people complain that there are no more frontiers, 
one might gain the impression that frontiers were made of 
frosted cake and candy. One might think also that we are 
a nation of frustrated frontiersmen imprisoned suffocated 
within these paltry three million square miles that com- 
prise continental United States . . . The answer is that no 
frontiers have vanished that every sort of frontier that 
ever was is still here. But to find a frontier one must first 
be a frontiersman. Several points are conveniently forgot- 
ten when we talk about frontiers. The first is that there is 
nothing very comfortable or inviting about them . . . They 
make men pay as the price of 'to have and to hold,' their 
sweat and blood ... Is this the frontier whose passing you 
bewail ? Then please be comforted ; you can find it almost 
anywhere in the United States today. Any day you choose 
you can exchange the hardships of civilization for this. The 
United States is not settled yet ... A population map of the 
United States will show you that ours is the most sparsely 
populated of all the great nations . . . 'But,' they say, 'there's 
no more free land.' There never was any free land. Frontiers 
are never easy and they are never free. The first man on 
the spot pays the highest price even if he does not pay a dol- 
lar ... There is living room here that never was used, vast 
unoccupied empires waiting . . . The fact is, the price of 
pioneering is too high for most of us to pay . . ." 

''INHERE are several points in Mr. Cameron's dissertation 
* with which we can agree. It is true that "every sort 
of frontier that ever was is still here." It is true that the 
price of pioneering is "sweat and blood." It is true that the 
United States is sparsely populated. It is true that there 
are "vast unoccupied empires waiting." And finally, but in 
a different sense from Mr. Cameron's, it is true that "the 
price of pioneering is too high for most of us to pay." 

TTAVING yielded to Mr. Cameron on the foregoing, per- 
*-- haps it would not be amiss for us to ask a few ques- 
tions: Why is it that shipload after shipload of pioneers 
came to America centuries ago, knowing that they would not 
find "frosted cake and candy"? Why do not a great number 
of pioneers come from Europe today? Do they prefer the 
conditions with which they are now faced to the hard life 
of the frontiers? Are they not willing to pay the price of 
"sweat and blood" in order to live in peace and freedom? 
If they are willing to come (and God knows they are !), why 
do we erect immigration barriers, when there are so many 
frontiers to cultivate ? What about our own millions of un- 
employed descendants of pioneers; are they too lazy to 
work on the millions and millions of acres of fertile land 
now out of use? Do they prefer the comfort of the park 
bench and the municipal lodging house? Should not our 
Government give public notice that there are "vast unoccu- 
pied empires waiting" ? Would no one respond ? Why was 
there such a desperate rush when the Government gave out 
similar notices in the nineteenth century ? 

A RE the migrant workers samples of people who prefer 
*"* the comforts of civilization to the hardships of the 
frontier ? Are they not modern pioneers seeking new fron- 
tiers? Why do they not find them, when they exist every- 
where ? When the "bootleg" coal miners went to work on a 
large company's deserted mine, were they not pioneering? 
Does Mr. Cameron recall their fate? Does he know that 
there are vast empires comprising millions of fertiles acres 
in our middle West, through which one can drive all day 
without seeing a man at labor, and that a landless wretch 
would receive treatment as a criminal were he to attempt to 
cultivate them on his own initiative? Is it barely possible 
that the barb-wire fence surrounding these empires is keep- 
ing off our modern pioneers? Can it be that extortionate 
rents are the present-day "price of pioneering" ? 

TN declaring that "there never was any free land," Mr. 
-*- Cameron displays a naivete not in keeping with the 
seriousness of his subject. Can he possibly harbor a defini- 
tion of "free" land as a place where men's requirements 
would produce themselves without human exertion? Not 
even the lowliest schoolboy could, for long, entertain the 
thought of such a paradise on earth. For the benefit of 
Mr. Cameron, may we remind him that from the very be- 
ginning men have never asked for an earth free of the natu- 
ral obstacles imposed in His infinite wisdom by the Creator 
what they have cried out against are the unnatural obstacles 
which have been wrought by Man himself. 


January February, 1941 

Forty Years of the Struggle for Freedom 

As Viewed in the Pages of Land and Freedom 

1901 ! A new century the amazing Twentieth Century. 
The United States was rapidly becoming a great world 
power, with possessions overseas, and unprecedented indus- 
trial expansions. The McKinley administration had ushered 
in a period of that sort of "prosperity" against which Hen- 
ry George had warned. Monopolies and trusts were in the 
ascendant. The shadows of Standard Oil and United States 
Steel dominated the national scene. 

Throughout the world there was ferment and unrest. In 
Europe, Asia, everywhere, old forms were crumbling. The 
people were awakening. Equality was struggling against 

In the midst of these world affairs, a new social reform 
was striving valiantly to bring its message to a long suffer- 
ing humanity. It was the movement to which Henry George 
gave memorable impetus the struggle for freedom free 
land, free trade, free men. This trinity was entering a new 
phase in the evening of the Gilded Age. Its foremost apostle 
had passed away only a few years before, and now it was 
confronted with a critical test of survival. The brave work- 
ers in the cause faced the turn of the century with an en- 
thusiasm unabated and with a conviction unshaken. 

The Founding of the Review 

Among the leaders of the Henry George movement who 
were carrying on the struggle in various ways political, 
propagandistic, educational was Joseph Dana Miller. A 
figure already respected in the literary world, Miller chose 
to enlist as a full-time worker in the Georgeist cause rather 
than merely bask in the more comfortable fame of belles 

Miller came to see the need of unity in the movement 
or something that would rally together the many workers in 
all the diverse fields of endeavor, and demonstrate to them- 
selves, as well as to the world, that they were severally en- 
gaged in the same noble task of establishing the reign of 
natural law in the economic world. 

With this in mind Joseph Dana Miller founded in 1901 
the journal which now bears the name of LAND AND FREE- 
DOM. It was originally styled the SINGLE TAX REVIEW. (The 
Georgeist reform in those days was commonly known as 
the "single tax".) The REVIEW commenced as a quarterly. 
Vol. 1, No. 1 appeared in the Summer of 1901. The sub- 
title of the magazine was "A Record of the Progress of 
Single Tax and Tax Reform Throughout the World." In 
his Publisher's Notes, Miller wrote: "We believe the RE- 
VIEW will demonstrate its reason for being; that it is the 

best propaganda medium now published, and that it is wor- 
thy of general support." 

The contents of Vol.1, No. 1 were fairly indicative of the 
field the REVIEW was to cover for the years to ccrr,e. A- 
mong the items were the following: The story of Tom L. 
Johnson's brave fight for municipal reform and single tax 
as the newly-elected mayor of Cleveland ; an account, by 
Lawson Purdy, of a Conference on Taxation held at Buf- 
falo, composed of delegates appointed by the Governors of 
the States; an obituary, by Henry George, Jr., of James A. 
Herne, the famous playwright and actor, and author of 
the highly successful play, "Shore Acres," which incor- 
porated Georgeist principles; a hitherto unpublished letter 
from Leo Tolstoy, in which the great Russian writer said : 
"Henry George composed a multiplication table clear, uni- 
versally comprehensible, irrefutable. He has done his work. 
Let those who can put it in practice do their part. One thing 
is certain ; as those who desire to make calculations cannot a- 
void the multiplication table so also those who desire to 
organize the social life of mankind on juster foundations 
will not be able to avoid Henry George's plan, and will take 
it as their basis." There were also reports of the activities 
of Georgeists throughout the country, state by state, and 
throughout the world, country by country. 

Here at last was a medium for the Henry George move- 
ment throughout the world. As such a medium, the RE- 
VIEW was to keep a universal record of the progress of the 
single tax everywhere progressive legislation, the activities 
of Georgeists, interpretations of significant current events, 
explanations of the philosophy for newcomers, theoretical 
and controversial discussions, recommendations for the con- 
duct of Georgeist activities and for the advance of the 

The Status of the Movement 

There was optimism in the ranks of Georgeists in those 
early days optimism and determined effort. They saw 
their ideas spreading, many great men espousing the cause, 
advancing legislation throughout the world. It seemed that 
success was in sight. Hamlin Russell wrote in the REVIEW 
in 1902 : "We have the right ; more than that, it is our bound- 
en duty to claim victory, full and complete." From Den- 
mark, Sophus Berthelson wrote: "We can plainly mark a 
growing comprehension among all classes of society, of the 
great social importance of our doctrines." In 1905 Louis 
F. Post testified that the movement was making great 
strides. He acclaimed the present "progress in the minds 
and hearts of the masses of the people" as compared with 

January February, 1941 


the more "ebullient times of George and McGlynn" when 
the masses were more astounded than understanding. 

In New York, Lawson Purdy was carrying on the fight 
to separate the assessment of land from improvements, 
and rode to victory. In Chicago, a newly formed Single Tax 
Party was thrice put on the ballot and doubled its votes suc- 
cessively. In Colorado, Senator Bucklin was campaigning 
for the "Australasian Tax System." In the United States 
Congress, Robert Baker was staunchly speaking for tax 
reform. In Ohio, Tom L. Johnson was carrying his struggle 
against special privilege. 

In China Dr. W. E. Macklin, missionary, was collab- 
orating with Dr. Sun Yat Sen in translating Georgeist lit- 
erature into Chinese for spreading the doctrines in that 
country. In Switzerland Oscar Schar reported that the land 
monopolists "found us more dangerous even than the Social 
Democrats, who looked towards an indefinite future for 
their hopes whereas our reform could have been easily and 
instantaneously put into practice." Danish Georgeists were 
increasing their strength in Parliament, and a new Danish 
Henry George League was spreading its influence. In 
Russia, Tolstoy was observing the general unrest, and urg- 
ing Single Tax as the only measure that would save that 
country from revolution. 

England gave encouraging signs of progress. John Paul 
reported that many English leaders, such as Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman, Winston Churchill, Lord Asquith 
and others, were declaring themselves in favor of land val- 
ue taxation. "Our question is at the very door of Parliament 
here," wrote Paul, "We have a knowledge of the political 
situation, know the constituencies, what can be done and 
what ought to be done." In Australia and New Zealand, tax 
reform was under way. Many municipalities in both coun- 
tries provided for the exemption of improvements and a 
higher rate on land values. 

To the nucleus of leaders in the Henry George move- 
ment, howevtr, it was clear that there were numerous 
thorny roads ahead, much heart-breaking toil, and many 
disappointments to be suffered. Constantly in the SINGLE 
TAX REVIEW appeared "the clarions of the battle" admoni- 
tions to Georgeists to pull together for the great work, plans 
and recommendations for the future of the movement. 
Naturally there were disagreements as to the best course to 
take, and unfortunately there were splits. There were those 
who advocated working with the major political parties ; 
and there were those who advocated independent political 
action. There were leaders who asserted that the reform 
must be presented as a practical fiscal reform; and there 
were others who insisted on presenting the philosophy in its 
full strength. Some advocated cooperating with liberals and 
radicals and socialists ; others opposed this, and insisted that 
socialists must be openly condemned. 

The pages of the REVIEW were open to all these different 
ideas. Miller stood for free and open discussion on all ques- 
tions. He was a true democrat. But he hoped that sufficient 
agreement would come out of them to unite all Single Tax- 
ers into one great organization. 

The advocates of cooperation with the major parties 
chose the Democratic label. J. B. Vining reported in 1903 
that "the Single Taxers of Ohio have gone on, step by step, 
until today the entire Democratic organization is thorough- 
ly permeated with their influence." 

Edward T. Weeks, who proposed independent political 
action, asked these questions: "1st - Where Single Taxers 
are free to organize politically, can they vote with parties 
which favor the ownership of land, without themselves in- 
curring moral guilt? 2nd - Should our political work be 
governed by moral principle or by mere seeming expedi- 
ency?" There was a storm over these questions, and the 
majority of Single Taxers appeared to be in favor of 
independent political action. However, nothing substantial 
was done for some time. 

There were other views. "The Single Tax at present," 
wrote Jane Dearborn Mills, " is an educational work. How 
to make our organizations strong for the educating of the 
world is the vital question, until we can put the system into 
practical exercise." 

There was a flood of different proposals, and a great 
number of organizations. A summer resort on single tax 
lines was conceived. A single tax colony near a great me- 
tropolis was suggested. A Single Tax Information Bureau 
was started in 1903. It printed and distributed 60,000 pieces 
of literature. There was a Henry George Class of Eco- 
nomics in 1906. There were many lecture bureaus. And such 
orators as John Z. White, James Morton, and Frederick 
Monroe toured the country on speaking engagements. 

One of the important organizations was the Massachu- 
setts Single Tax League, under the direction of Charles B. 
Fillebrown. In 1902 the League gave a banquet to college 
professors and economists for the purpose of bringing them 
together to agree or disagree on certain phases of Georgeist 
doctrines. Among the points submitted to the professors 
were the folloiwing: A tax upon ground rent cannot be 
shifted ; the selling value of land is reduced by the tax that 
is paid upon it ; ground rent is what land is worth for use. 
Most were recorded in the affirmative. Among the profes- 
sors were T. N. Carver, E. R. A. Seligman, C. J. Bullock 
and G. S. Callender. 

Every so often in the REVIEW would appear a summation 
of the progress and status of the movement. Miller was 
convinced the reform was making headway. His chief rec- 
ommendation was that there be a national organization 
and fuller cooperation among all the workers in various 


January February, 1941 


In 1904 Louis F. Post said: "The SINGLE TAX REVIEW 
is coming rapidly to justify its mission as the organ of the 
movement whose name it has adopted. It collects with con- 
siderable fullness the news of the movement as an organ 
should, and is as interesting as well, which organs some- 
times fail to be." 

Among the many factors that made the REVIEW interest- 
ing were the various doctrinal controversies, often exciting, 
that appeared therein. It was quite natural that the George- 
ists who had a "bone to pick" should turn to columns of the 
REVIEW as their mouthpiece. From the earliest days, there 
were perennial discussions on the interest question, single 
tax and socialism, public ownership versus taxation, and 
more obscure doctrinal points. 

The earliest controversy in the REVIEW on the interest 
question took place in 1904. It started with a criticism of 
Henry George's theory of interest by Joseph Faidy, a 
young New Orleans Georgeist. Mr. Faidy claimed that 
"interest exists on account of the opportunity of investing 
capital in land," and that it would disappear in a free social 
order. This article brought such an avalanche of replies, 
both in agreement and disagreement, that Miller was oblig- 
ed to devote a large part of a subsequent issue to a sympo- 
sium on the question. Among the contributors to this dis- 
cussion were such prominent writers as Lewis H. Berens, 
Michael Flurscheim, Byron Holt, James Love, and Dr. S. 

In an editorial preface to the symposium, Miller dis- 
posed of the interest question in these syllogistic terms : 
"Interest is either natural, or it is not. If it is not, it will dis- 
appear under the reign of natural law which the Single Tax 
will inaugurate. But if it is natural, then it will persist, and 
its persistence will wrong no one.' In the rule of economic 
freedom all laws are beneficent." 

Another controversy that raged in the pages of the RE- 
VIEW was concerned with the Fairhope colony. Fairhope 
operated in some measure on single tax principles. An 
article appeared in the REVIEW criticizing Fairhope as a 
"semi-socialistic" scheme. Feeling ran high on this indict- 
ment, and the question was debated: Is Fairhope represen- 
tative of Single Tax? Miller, as usual, allowed all sides to 
have their say, and he was criticized severely for this poli- 
cy. Partisans of Fairhope ceased to give the REVIEW their 
support. Of one of these, Mr. Miller wrote : "We are sorry 

to lose Mr _ as a subscriber, but if the price of his 

remaining on the list of our friends is suppression and si- 
lence we must perforce part with him, not, however, with- 
out regret that so good a friend of the cause should take 
this view of the matter." And again: "Both sides shall be 
heard until this unhappy controversy is disposed of," 

Another article that evoked a storm was Peter Aitken' 
"The Chief Obstacle to the Single Tax and How to Remov< 
It". As a matter of abstract principle, said Mr. Aitken 
landowners are not entitled to compensation, but as a prac 
tical matter, the question of compensation should be con 
sidered. The volume of replies required space in the Ri 
VIEW for another symposium. 

There were many similar questions freely and openly dis 
cussed in the SINGLE TAX REVIEW. No debatable subjec 
went without a flood of replies. Mr. Miller allowed all t 
have a voice. The REVIEW was proving itself an indispenj 
sable mouthpiece of the movement. 

Conferences, Organizations, Politics 

In 1908 a National Single Tax Conference was held, z 1 
which a nation-wide organization was founded. It was th 
American Single Tax League, and Bolton Hall was elec' 
ed president. The REVIEW was adopted as the official med 
um of the League. (At this time the editor found it prc 
pitious to change the REVIEW from a quarterly to a b 
monthly. Its frequency has since remained unchanged ; t 
this clay it is a bi-monthly.) The League secured its ow 
headquarters, and engaged in propaganda work and the 
it seems to have petered out. 

There was an important series of conferences sponsors 
by the Joseph Fels Commission. The leaders of this Con 
mission were Joseph Fels himself, Frederic C. Howe, Lii 
coin Steffens, Bolton Hall and Daniel Kiefer. At a coi 
ference in 1910, the Commission decided to devote its r 
sources to political action. A plan for a land tax campaif 
in Oregon was worked out, with Hon. W. S. U'Ren as tl 
leader. The campaign was conducted with determinatic 
and it alarmed the entrenched interests to such an exte 
that they formed anti-single tax leagues, and with the he 
of a controlled press launched a desperate counter-dri\ 
The Single Tax measures were defeated, but Georgeisi 
encouraged by the near-success of their efforts, engaged 
other campaigns. A Single Tax Bill was introduced 
New York State. California had land- value-tax legisl 
tive proposals. A Land Value Tax Party was formed. 

In England, Georgeists were fervent over the famo 
budget debates of 1909-1910 in Parliament. Winston Chu 
chill and Lloyd George presented a bill for the taxation 
land values. The House of Lords fought furiously ai 
finally defeated it. In 1910 the Danish peasants rose v 
organized, and demanded uncompromisingly "Equal rig! 
for all, the taxation of land values, complete free trac 
and special privileges for none." 

The Joseph Fels Conference of 1914, reported in t 
REVIEW, gave evidence of progress along political lines. T 
city of Everett, in Washington, voted for a single t 
amendment but its validity was questioned in the cour 

January February, 1941 


There was a campaign in Pueblo, Colorado, led by George J. 
Knapp, taking advantage of the home rule amendment, to 
secure tax-exemption of improvements. There were cam- 
paigns in Oregon, Missouri and California. Henry George, 
Jr., newly elected Congressman from New York, told of 
the movement in the District of Columbia to secure 100% 
valuation of land and to extend the number and power of 
assessors. The nation's capital was particularly a hot-bed 
of land speculation. 

Special Numbers 

During the years 1911 - 1913, Mr. Miller published sev- 
eral "Special Numbers" of the REVIEW, devoted to George- 
st reform in different countries. 

The issue for May-June 1911 was a "Vancouver Special 
Number." Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, was 
jroclaimed to be "the first Single Tax city in the world.'* 
^. D. Taylor, Mayor of Vancouver, wrote on the results of 
he Single Tax in his city, and pointed out the stimulating 
effects due to removal of taxes on buildings and industry. 

The September-October 1911 issue was an "Edmonton 
and Grain Growers Number." The city of Edmonton in 
Alberta, Canada, was praised as the "freest city in Amer- 
ca." In a feature article by Wm. Short, ex-mayor of Ed- 
monton, the application of the Single Tax in Edmonton 

s discussed. The Grain Growers of Canada were also 
featured. The Farmers' Association of Alberta, Saskatch- 
ewan and Manitoba, declared themselves strongly in favor 
of land value taxation. 

The March-April 1912 issue was a "Special Number for 
Oermany." It featured the work of Adolf Damaschke, 
lead of the German Bodenreform League. Poultney Bige- 
ow, a close friend of Kaiser Wilhelm, praised the Kaiser 
as an advanced socialist who had studied "Progress and 
'overty," and initiated a measure of Single Tax principle 
n the German province of Kiao-Chow in China. Many 
noted German professors wrote for this special number, 
>n various phases of the land question in Germany. Among 
hem: Dr. Karl Tolenske on "Land Tax or Nationalization 
jf Mortgages", which latter course the Doctor advocated 
or Germany's particular case ; Dr. Adolf Wagner on "Eco- 
lomic Science and the Unearned Increment Tax"; Dr. F. 
khar on "The Nationalization of Water Power"; and Dr. 
W. Schrameier on the status of the land reform movement 
n the Empire. 

The September-October 1912 issue appeared as a "New 
'ealand Special Number." It gave a full and detailed ac- 
ount of the history and progress toward Single Tax in leg- 
slation, how the people gained control of the legislature, 
md the status of the Henry George movement in that coun- 
ry. In New Zealand the United Labor Party was the 
wlitical force which was most instrumental in securing the 
Single Tax advances. 

The issue for January-February 1913 was a "Great Brit- 
ain Special Number." It presented the story of the famous 
budget fights in Parliament, the movement for municipal 
land value taxation, and the Georgeist movement in Eng- 
land and Scotland. The Members of Parliament at that 
time who stood for land value taxation (known as "the 
land values group") were Francis Neilson, Josiah Wedg- 
wood, Alexander Ure, R. L. Outhwaite, Peter W. Raffan, 
E. G. Hemmerde, Henry George Chancellor and James 
Dundas White. (Today the land values bloc comprises fifty 
M. P.'s.) 

The November-December 1913 issue came out as a "New 
York City Special Number." It included a long and fasci- 
nating article "The Romance of New York Real Estate," 
by Joseph Dana Miller; it was a history of the land deals 
and the rise of land values in New York. Frederic C. Leu- 
buscher wrote for this issue the exciting story of Henry 
George's mayoralty campaign of 1886. The interesting 
history of the Manhattan Single Tax Club was also present- 
ed; and biographies of the many Georgeist workers in New 
York appeared. 

Many extra thousands of these special numbers were 
printed for wide distribution. They were indeed impres- 
sive documents and must have done much to spread Single 
Tax influence. 

The War Years: 1914-1918 

The world conflict which opened in 1914 was indeed the 
most disastrous the world had ever witnessed. Yet it did 
not enter the daily lives of people to the extent that tht 
present struggle does. And it does not seem to have inter- 
fered seriously with Georgeist activities, though there was 
some abatement. In the January- February 1915 issue of the 
REVIEW appeared a list of Single Tax organizations and 
periodicals, which covered two pages. Toward the end of 
1918, greater organizations and more daring projects were 
conceived than were ever before attempted. 

As to the war itself, Miller took an editorial stand, from 
the beginning of the conflict, in behalf of the Allies. He 
was not deceived by the high-sounding phrases of the prop- 
agandists, and he indeed saw that the matter required an 
economic solution; but he saw Germany as an aggressor 
nation committing immoral acts, and he saw the war as a 
struggle basically, though vaguely between despotism 
and democracy. 

In 1914 a New York State Single Tax League was form- 
ed, which held a Conference at Buffalo (reported in the 
September-October 1914 REVIEW). This Conference was 
notable in that there were outstanding recommendations 
offered for the conduct of the movement. Mary Boise Ely 
proposed working among college students, since their minds 
were as yet open and untrammeled. Prof. Lewis H. Clark 



January February, 1941 

suggested a compact organization, patterned after political 
organizations, but devoted to educational work. The or- 
ganization, he said, should be democratically run, with a 
constitution, committees and chairmen. 

At this Conference, Oscar H. Geiger also spoke, propos- 
ing an educational program in the form of "reading circles." 
This is the earliest record of Geiger's utterance on the sub- 
ject, and it is remarkable in its completeness. "Fundamen- 
tal social betterment," said Geiger, "to be lasting, must come 
in response to a demand from the people, and the people 
must understand before they can demand ... It is proper 
for us to try to get whatever measure of justice we can 
by such legal enactments as with the present state of the 
public mind we are able to obtain, but we must not delude 
ourselves into believing that merely direct effort toward 
legislation in the people's present state of mind will secure 
fundamental justice . . . This accepted, there remains only 
the selection of effective methods of educating the people. 
There are many ways, most are expensive, while many are 
fraught with the requirement of undue effort, and therefore 
wasted energy." 

The method he offered was that of study groups. The 
whole educational program, as later exemplified in the 
Henry George School of Social Science that he was to 
found, was worked out fully. The idea aroused much in- 
terest, and was followed up with action. Reading circles 
were organized throughout New York State. However, 
the project did not continue to flourish. 

1916 was the year of the first Great Adventure in Cali- 
fornia. This was a campaign to secure a Single Tax 
amendment in that state. Luke North was the leader; he 
and his fellow-workers conducted a whirlwind campaign. 
But, as usual, the opposition countered with all its resources 
and the amendment was killed. There was another Great 
Adventure in 1918, which was also defeated. Luke North 
died shortly after. 

A Conference was held at Niagara in 1916, at which an 
independent Single Tax political party was proposed. We 
can imagine the heat with which the proposal was discussed 
from what Miller wrote: "We may regret that the policy 
of independent party action had not been discussed in a 
calmer frame and a more philosophic mood. There are 
reasons for a party and there are reasons against it that 
were not heard by the Conference at all." A't any rate, 
it would appear that the idea of a political party was ger- 

In November 1916, the fourth Conference of the New 
York State Single Tax League was held, at the University 
of Syracuse. It was the first time a Single Tax Conference 
was held within University walls. The economics course 
at the University of Syracuse was notable in that the four 

or live hundred students of that subject devoted six weeks 
to the study of Henry George. 

The SINGLE TAX REVIEW changed its format in 1918, 
to the present one. Mr. Miller submitted to his readers the 
question whether the magazine should also be converted 
into a monthly but the vote was overwhelmingly in favor 
of keeping it a bi-monthly. In his editorial notes on the 
new appearance of the journal, he wrote: "The REVIEW, 
now, as in the past, will give the tax reform features of the 
movement . . . But the goal set out for the Single Tax shall 
be the goal constantly before our readers To Free Natural 
Opportunities and Industrial Enterprise from all Trib- 
ute . . . The REVIEW will give its undeviating support to the 
Single Tax Party movement, and will encourage the forma- 
tion of Party Organizations in every State, for a test of its 
principles at the polls. We have witnessed the utter col- 
lapse of all forms of Single Tax organization. For educa- 
tional as well as political purposes Party Organization gives 
the fullest promise of cohesion and progress. The REVIEW 
will therefore endeavor to enlist the now hesitant body of 
our believers into an Army for Political Action." 

Thus the REVIEW gave notice to the world on two points 
it stood for the Georgeist philosophy in all its strength, 
and not in any diluted form ; and it stood for a determined 
united effort on the part of all believers to lead the George- 
ist reform to success. 

Independent Party Action 

The independent political action movement was taken up 
enthusiastically by a great number of Georgeists. There 
were many, however, who were indifferent, and others who 
even opposed the idea; but enough were in favor of it to 
form successful party organizations in many States. By 
the end of 1918, the Single Tax Party had organizations 
in half the States of the Union. 

This Party movement was an outstanding milestone in 
the progress of our reform. It marked the close of an era 
of attempting to work with the major political parties, par- 
ticularly the Democratic. There had been nothing but dis- 
appointment in that policy. Miller called it "one phase of 
Single Taxers' activities for two or three decades, a phase 
now demonstrably a failure and approaching an inglorious 
close." Henceforth the Georgeist movement was to be 
more clearcut. It was to build up its own resources for 
the spreading of its philosophy and reform. 

During 1918 there were various State-wide Party Cam- 
paigns. In the New York State Campaign, Joseph Dana 
Miller was the unanimous choice of the Party for Governor. 
In 1919 Miller made an impassioned plea for a united na- 
tion-wide Party campaign. He wrote : "Great God ! W< 
are the torch-bearers of an economic world-gospel! W< 
bring balm for the healing of the nations, a message foi 
the oppressed, a new Magna Charta of emancipation for 

January February, 1941 


mankind. If rejected, Leagues of Nations, covenants of 
peoples, are veritable 'scraps of paper.' Again autocracy 
will challenge the political democracies that even now are 
shaken by internal revolutions. Again the Man on Horse- 
back, a pinchbeck Hohenzollern or a real Napoleon, will 
over-ride the world. Again on dying democracies, by 
power of cannon and shot and shell a modern Tamerlane 
will seek to fatten." This dire and remarkable "prophecy" 
is reminiscent of Henry George's immortal words in "Prog- 
ress and Poverty." Miller was in dead earnest. 

The plea for a national campaign bore fruit. A national 
Convention of the Single Tax Party was held. They de- 
cided to enter the 1920 general election with a platform and 
candidates of their own. James Robinson was appointed 
National Organizer ; Robert Macauley, National Chairman ; 
and Joseph Dana Miller, National Secretary. For once 
Georgeists all over the country were united in a nation- 
wide venture. 

The Single Tax Party decided to hold their 1920 Conven- 
tion in Chicago the city where the Farmer-Labor Party 
and the Committee of Forty-Eight were also convening. 
This latter was a group of liberals, malcontents, and radi- 
cals of all sorts and shades, brought together from the for- 
ty-eight states (hence the name) by a wealthy man who 
hoped to have them agree on a single platform, acceptable 
to all liberals. The Single Taxers had a reason for choos- 
ing the same locale as the Committee of Forty-Eight. 
They proposed to attend the Forty-Eight convention, and 
attempt to swing it over to a pure Single Tax platform. 

It was a dramatic moment when the Single Taxers en- 
tered the Forty-Eight Convention hall. There were only 
about fifty of them, but as they entered the hall where five 
hundred indeterminate "reformers" were wrangling, the 
Committee leaders regarded this small group with appre- 
hension. Here was a band who knew what they wanted, 
and were determined. 

After endless wrangling, the Single Taxers, by sheer 
force of fighting their way through the mob, obtained a 
hearing. They read their platform, which was vociferously 
seconded. Confusion followed, and the Single Taxers were 
on the point of losing their case, when in an inspiring strat- 
egy they forced the Chairman to recognize their speaker. 
He was Oscar Geiger. He proceeded to pour forth an im- 
passioned and inspiring speech for the Single Tax, which 
brought down the house. The Single Tax platform was 
unanimously adopted by that great crowd. But the Com- 
mittee leaders, who insisted on playing politics, sought to 
effect a merger between the Committee of Forty-Eight and 
the Farmer-Labor Party. They marched over to the latter's 
convention hall and that was the last of them. They were 
swallowed up by the larger party and the Single Tax plat- 
form was lost. 

Disgusted by this loose game of politics, the Single Tax- 
ers went ahead with their own Party convention adopted 
the platform, voted on resolutions, nominated candidates. 
But they had won the respect of the liberals. "You men have 
a sense of solidarity," said Amos Pinchot to them. The 
Single Tax Presidential candidate was Robert Macauley, 
and the candidate for Vice President was Richard C. Bar- 
num. The Party succeeded in getting on the ballot of twen- 
ty-four states. In the national election, the Single Tax 
vote was not huge, but was encouraging enough to arouse 
a desire for more national campaigns. 

In England, many Georgeists were coming to the same 
conclusion as the American Georgeists that it was futile 
to attempt cooperation with the major political parties, and 
that the only hope was in independent party action. An 
International Single Tax Conference was held at Oxford 
in 1923. There was intense discussion as to the value of 
attempting to work through the Liberal and Labor Parties, 
after so many years of disappointing stalemates, despite 
the presence of several courageous Georgeist Members of 
Parliament. There was a split between those who favored 
working with the present political set-up for whatever ad- 
vances could be secured, and those who advecated an in- 
dependent party to stand for the Georgeist reform in its 
fullness. The result was the founding of the Common- 
wealth Land Party, led by Graham Peace. 

In America, the Single Tax Party decided to enter the 
national election of 1924. At their convention, Oscar Gei- 
ger urged the group to change the name of the Party, since 
the term "single tax" was a misnomer, and did not suggest 
all the implications of the Georgeist philosophy of freedom. 
The name of the Party was thereupon changed to the same 
as that of their English colleagues the Commonwealth 
Land Party. At the same time (January 1924) the SINGLE 
TAX REVIEW changed its name to LAND AND FREEDOM. 

The 1924 candidates were William J. Wallace for Presi- 
dent, and John C. Lincoln for Vice-President. The can- 
didates spoke at schools, forums and clubs, and received a 
good deal of press notice. The vote this time was not for- 
midable, but Georgeists are not easily discouraged. How- 
ever, this was to be the last nation-wide Single Tax cam- 

Fellow Travellers 

A number of famous men, prominent in the political, 
civic, educational and literary worlds, have endorsed the 
Georgeist philosophy in one way or another. While these 
men may perhaps not be termed "Georgeists" in the full 
sense of the word, they have been "fellow travellers." Ac- 
cepting Louis F. Post, Joseph Fels, Tom L. Johnson and 
Samuel Seabury as true followers of George, let us glance 
at some of our other friends through the pages of the SIN- 



January February, 1941 

jolm Dewey, America's foremost philosopher, has often 
praised Henry George as a great social philosopher. His 
famous remark on George is quoted on the masthead page 
of this issue. 

Hamlin Garland, the ''dean of American letters," was a 
friend of Henry George, and in the early days appeared 
often at Georgeist gatherings. At a dinner given in his 
honor by the Manhattan Single Tax Club, he said: "Today 
our numbers are legion. The principles enunciated by Mr. 
George are being applied in a dozen adroit ways; not as 
'Single Tax measures,' but under other names. Of this we 
do not complain. All we ask is to see the work done." 

Edwin Markham, beloved American poet, was also often 
present at Georgeist meetings. His "Man With the Hoe" 
was reviewed by Joseph Dana Miller the first review to 
appear in the East. 

Elbert Hubbard, the famous Roycrofter and author of the 
"Scrapbook," was deeply impressed by George, and pub- 
lished a brilliant essay on George's life and teachings. His 
"Scrapbook" also contains one of Joseph Dana Miller's 
outstanding pieces of verse, "A Hymn of Hate," in which 
the horrors of War are decried. 

We have already spoken of Leo Tolstoy. As the years 
went on, Tolstoy was becoming more and more convinced 
that the Georgeist reform was the salvation of civilization. 
George Bernard Shaw has from time to time acknowl- 
edged the influence of Henry George on his own ideas. He 
asserts that this influence was responsible for the founding 
of the Fabian Society. Of course, Shaw and the Fabians, 
whije acclaiming George, wouldi say "he didn't go far 

Many others prominent in the world of letters have en- 
dorsed George's views. Brand Whitlock embraced the 
Georgeist doctrine. Opie Read, the famous novelist, de- 
clared himself in favor of Georgeist reform in an interview 
reported in the REVIEW. Herbert D. Quick, another famous 
author, endorsed the philosophy, and his last article was 
written for the REVIEW. Frederic C. Howe and Lincoln 
Steffens, it has been noted, worked with the Joseph Pels 
Commission. Helen Keller, Kathleen Norris and many 
other writers have accepted the truths expounded by Henry 

In the field of politics, many English statesmen were in- 
fluenced by George during the first decade of the twentieth 
century when the English government "declared war on 
poverty." Outstanding among the measures proposed was 
land value taxation, endorsed by Lord Asquith, Winston 
Churchill, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Lloyd 
George. A later fellow traveller was Philip Snowden, 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

In America, Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis 
was deeply interested in Henry George. He requested M. 

N. Norwalk to translate for the SINGLE TAX REVIEW an 
article on the land question in Palestine, written in Yiddish. 
Woodrow Wilson seems to have been interested in George. 
Louis F. Post testifies that Wilson always kept a copy of 
"Progress and Poverty" on his desk. Col. George W. 
Goethals, engineer-in-chief of the Panama Canal, was a 
whole-hearted Georgeist. Surgeon General William C. 
Gorgas, the medical supervisor of the Panama Canal, de- 
clared that most medical problems were due to poverty, 
and that the solution to poverty was the Single Tax. Her- 
bert Bigelow and Newton D. Baker declared themselves 
Single Taxers, but said "it is a matter for the future." Al- 
bert Einstein, world famous physicist, acknowledges his in- 
debtedness to Henry George for the latter's beautiful syn- 
thesis of natural laws. 

Henri Lambert, noted Belgian economist, was particu- 
larly impressed by Henry George's views on free trade. At 
the close of the World War he wrote an article for the 
SINGLE TAX REVIEW on "The Way to Salvation an Eco- 
nomic Peace." In it he said : "The only remaining chance 
of salvation for civilization lies in the preservation by Eng- 
land, and the adoption by Germany, France and the United 
States, of a policy of international economic freedom and 

One of the most interesting figures of a couple of decades 
ago was Raymond Robins, brilliant lecturer, official and un- 
official ambassador to many countries. Mr. Robins report- 
ed to Joseph Dana Miller an interview he had with Nikolai 
Lenin, leader of the newly formed Soviet Union. Robins 
asked Lenin why he did not apply the taxation of land 
values. Lenin replied : "The proper application of the 
Georgean taxation of land values is a tax on the mentality 
of a people and beyond the capacity of a nation not ten per- 
cent of whom have learned to read. They cannot under- 
stand it. They can only understand socialism at present. 
Some day, with a higher average intelligence, we may adopt 
the taxation of land values and enjoy economic freedom, 
but not now." 

Samuel Gompers, founder and first president of the 
American Federation of Labor, was a close friend of Henry 
George. However, in an issue of the SINGLE TAX REVIEW 
(1922), Joseph Dana Miller criticized Gompers for public- 
ly offering palliatives for the solution of the economic prob- 
lem, such as public works, and not mentioning the George- 
ist reform as the real solution. Gompers replied to this 
criticism as follows : "I have declared and now say that I 
am a Single Taxer. I believe the Single Tax to be the most 
practical, effective and generally advantageous tax which 
can be imposed, but you take me to task because in my ar- 
ticle on 'Abolish Unemployment' I did not declare for the 
Single Tax as a remedy for Unemployment. All I need 
say in reply is that the organized labor movement cannot 

January February, 1941 



wait for the establishment of the Single Tax system to have 
our unemployed workmen at work." 

In reply to Gompers, Mr. Miller pointed out that the 
Single Tax had been on the ballot in Oregon and California 
with many hundreds of thousands of votes; but "it does 
not appear from the records that Mr. Gompers was impelled 
to add his enormous influence to increase the vote in these 
States, yet had he done so, and kept at it, the movement 
would by this time have been much further advanced than 
his own program of public works ... If Mr. Gompers sees 
the truth as Single Taxers see it, it is his duty to announce 
it publicly, to proclaim it bravely." 

In 1929, Mr. Miller disclosed that Princess Alice of 
Greece was deeply interested in the Georgeist principles. 
In an interview, Mrs. Fiske Warren quoted the Greek prin- 
cess as saying, "A tax on the value of land leads to an open 
opportunity for every one who works." Princess Alice 
was collaborating with Pavlos Giannelia (now our French 
correspondent) in translating Georgeist literature into 

Joseph Dana Miller, the Writer 

As we have said, Joseph Dana Miller was greatly respect- 
ed in the literary world. His style was commended for its 
pure, simple and rounded quality. His clarity of expres- 
sion, his mastery of the English language, and his keen 
comments in both verse and prose, won for him the reputa- 
tion of being the greatest writer, next to Henry George, in 
the movement. 

Miller was sought after by leading periodicals, here and 
abroad. Among the articles he wrote for magazines were 
the following: "The Fallacious Doctrine of Work," Valley 
Magazine; "Theodore Roosevelt and Tom L. Johnson a 
Contrast," The Arena ; "The Income Tax," Belford's Mag- 
azine ;"The Difficulties of Democracy," International Jour- 
nal of Ethics (Miller considered this his best article. Louis 
Adamic praises it highly in "My America".) ; "The Single 
Tax and American Municipalities," National Municipal Re- 
i'iew; "Has the Single Tax Made Progress," Dearborn In- 

One of Miller's finest achievements was "The Single Tax 
Year Book." It was a history, statement of principles and 
study of the application of the single tax. It was a work of 
nearly 500 pages, edited by Joseph Dana Miller, and pub- 
lished in 1917. This Year Book received many press no- 
tices and secured a wide distribution. It was placed in 
nearly 1000 libraries throughout the world, and many of 
them deemed it an invaluable source book. 

Another of Mr. Miller's volumes appeared under the 
self-explanatory title, "Thirty Years of Verse Making." 
This was published in 1926. Mr. Miller insisted on calling 
his efforts "verse," not "poetry." In this compilation, the 
cream of many years of work, the verses were classified un- 

der the following headings : Poems of Social Aspiration ; 
Tributes to Notables; From the Library; Fields, Woods 
and Sea; Verses Occasional and Topical; and, In Lighter 

Joseph Dana Miller's writings in LAND AND FREEDOM 
itself, over a period of four decades, especially his editorials 
(which appeared successively under the title of "Edito- 
rials," "Current Comment," and finally, "Comment and Re- 
flection"), constitute a vast epic commentary on world af- 
fairs viewed in the light of fundamental economics. 

Aroused over an issue, Miller's pen was something to be 
reckoned with. When the soldiers returned from the over- 
seas war in 1919, and the Lane Report informed the nation 
that there was no way in which the soldiers could be re- 
placed in the nation's industrial life, Miller blazed away. 
"This is the final smirch on America's honor. It makes us 
the laughing stock of the world. It is our punishment for 
our betrayal to civilization during three shameful years, 
for our shallow sentiment, false heroics and theatrical pos- 
turing. . .The statesmen who can think of nothing better than 
to consign our war-worn veterans to the swamp and the 
desert, are of the same timber as those who allowed the 
doors of opportunity to close in the rear of the recruits as 
they left home to defend their country, our own and civili- 
zation itself . . . The execrations of posterity will weigh 
heavy on the memories of those who, with their hands on 
the helm of state, failed in capacity or duty and guided her 
upon the rocks." 

Mr. Miller proved his awareness of the real forces at 
work in his comments on the international scene. He said 
this of the Russian revolution: "We venture the prediction 
that as the Bolshevist experiment develops, it will be found 
that its chief contribution to human progress will be its ex- 
emplification of the policies to be avoided by nations who 
wish to improve their social conditions and its complete and 
triumphal refutation of the sophistries of Karl Marx and 
his followers." He saw the Fascist revolution in Italy as 
a reactionary revolution against the radicals then in con- 
trol. "A' resort to physical force by radicals invites the use 
of force by reactionaries." 

Mr. Miller's comments had their humorous side. When 
the New School for Social Research was established, Miller 
greeted it thus: ". . . The New School for Social Research 
is now launched. All questions concerning man's social 
relations are now in a fair way of being solved. We rejoice, 
at the announcement that 'there will be an attempt at factual 
rather than normative generalization,' and that 'an attempt 
will be made to explain the implicit assumptions involved in 
the prevailing technical treatment of such subjects as fre- 
quency distribution, types and averages, measures of dis- 
persion, etc.' 

"On Thursdays the Course includes: 'Relation of the 
theory of errors to statistical theory. Theory and tech- 



January February, 1941 

nique of the mathematical treatment of statistical frequency 
curves. The statistical problem of two variables. Linear 
and non-linear correlation. Importance of the equations of 
the regression lines as representing empirical laws. Etc., etc.' 

"We lay down this announcement. Perhaps our levity will 
seem unpardonable, but we felt like Artemus Ward: 'We 
busted into tears and resolved to lead a different life not 
necessarily a better life, but different.' " 

Many of Mr. Miller's articles and editorials were reprint- 
ed in pamphlet form, at the request of many readers. 
Among them were: "Jones' Itemized Rent Bill," "Has the 
Single Tax Made Progress," "What is it that is Taught as 
Political Economy," and a keen "Comment and Reflection," 
written as late as 1938, criticizing President Roosevelt. 

The Superlative Twenties 

The nineteen-twenties ushered in another period of that 
hectic "prosperity" that does not deceive Georgeists. But 
the Georgeists were falling into disrepute. Their dire pre- 
dictions seemed so fantastic. 

Miller and his co-workers struggled valiantly to keep 
aloft the light of the Georgeist philosophy in its fullness. 
He strove to recapture that vision and determination which 
characterized the early days of the movement. He inspired 
the workers in the 'movement to carry on. 

In those disappointing hours, another light flared on the 
horizon. In 1925 the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation was 
established. Robert Schalkenbach, recently deceased, made 
provision in his will for this Foundation, which was to pub- 
lish the works of Henry George and encourage such litera- 
ture as would be helpful in the propagation of the George- 
ist philosophy. Mr. Miller joyfully featured this good news 
in LAND AND FREEDOM. It was another milestone in the 
progress of the movement. It was another step making the 
movement more clearcut. Henceforth Georgeists would not 
' have to rely on an occasional publisher who would be will- 
ing to print George's literature. Here were the resources 
for doing so, right within the movement. Such steps had 
to be taken, since Henry George's works were so shame- 
fully neglected by the contemporary publishing houses. 

The Schalkenbach bequest provoked many editorials in 
leading newspapers. An editorial appeared in the New York 
Sun, under the title, "An Odd Bequest." After nebulously 
"refuting" the Georgeist proposals, the editorial concluded 
with this strange moral: "Even if the Single Tax were 
regarded as thoroughly sound by current thought, a will 
which provides for the indefinite propagation of any given 
man's set of ideas courts future difficulties . . . Suppose the 
reforms aimed at are accomplished? . . . Must propaganda 
in favor of the reform go on and on forever?" Of course 
this puerile argument could be applied to any work, not ex- 
cluding the Bible. However, there were many favorable 

newspaper editorials on the bequest. The Brooklyn Eagle 
and the Philadelphia North American made favorable com- 
ment, and asserted that it was a good work. 

In 1926 an International Conference was held at Copen- 
hagen, Denmark, sponsored by the International Union for 
Land Value Taxation and Free Trade. Georgeists from 
seventeen nations convened. One of the steps taken at this 
Conference was the sending of a message to the League of 
Nations for the consideration of the Council and Assem- 
bly. Another message was sent by the Union a year later 
on "The Interdependence of the Economic Causes of War 
and of Industrial Depression." It was addressed to the In- 
ternational Economic Conference of the League of Nations 
held at Geneva in May, 1927. 

The year 1926 marked the inauguration of another series 
of Georgeist conferences. The Henry George Foundation 
of America initiated its annual Henry George Congresses, 
which have been held every year since then. The first Con- 
gress was the year of the Sesquicentennial Celebration of 
the Declaration of Independence, at Philadelphia. The 
Georgeists convened at that city, and, seizing upon the oc- 
casion, issued "A New Declaration of Economic Indepen- 
dence." Another of the Henry George Foundation's ac- 
complishments was the purchasing of Henry George's birth- 
place in Philadelphia. 

1929 was the fiftieth anniversary of the appearance of 
"Progress and Poverty." It was celebrated by a Fiftieth 
Anniversary Edition published by the Schalkenbach Foun- 
dation ; it is the edition still distributed by the Foundation. 

In 1929 also was held another International Conference, 
this time at Edinburgh, Scotland. Georgeists from twenty- 
four nations convened and reported activities and progreste 
throughout the world. Engineer D. de Clerq spoke on the 
reclamation of the Zuider Zee, which was being organized 
along Georgeist lines. The land was to be leased by the 
government, and the government had refused to sell the re- 
claimed land. In Denmark, steady progress in land value 
taxation was reported, as well as in Australia, New Zea- 
land, and municipalities in many other countries. 

While in Great Britain for this Conference, Mrs. Anna 
George de Mille, daughter of Henry George, stopped at 
London for an interview with Philip Snowden at 1 1 Down- 
ing Street. She reported the interview in LAND AND FREE- 
DOM : "Although he spoke conservatively and couched his 
statements in diplomatic phrases that made neither promises 
nor guarantees, I hold the firm conviction that we are going 
to see our beliefs fought for in the open political fields in 
England, and that Philip Snowden will be in the frontline 
trenches, directing the campaign." It was only two years 
later that the battle for the separate valuation of land and 
improvements was fought in Parliament, with Snowden 
leading the battle. , 

January February, 1941 



Henry George School of Social Science 

During the dark days of the early depression, there was 
a man with a vision, who decided that now was the time to 
realize his dream. The man was Oscar H. Geiger trea- 
surer and editorial associate of LAND AND FREEDOM 
and the dream was an institution where the philosophy of 
Henry George might be taught. He consulted Joseph Dana 
Miller, who enthusiastically endorsed the idea. And so, on 
January 1, 1932, the Henry George School of Social Science 
was founded, with Oscar H. Geiger as Director. 

At first the School did not appear to be an institution at 
all it was just Mr. Geiger lecturing here and there, under 
the auspices of the Manhattan Single Tax Club and the 
Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. But the faith of Messrs. 
Geiger and Miller was that it would grow and become a 
great and influential institution. The office of LAND AND 
FREEDOM was adopted as headquarters of the School. 

The March-April 1932 issue of LAND AND FREEDOM car- 
ried a feature story of the School and an ardent plea that 
( Icorgeists support this new and worthy venture. "At the 
Henry George Congress in Baltimore," wrote Miller, "Dr. 
Mark Millikin, who is one of the sponsors of the new move- 
ment, suggested the founding of a Henry George Univer- 
sity. Here is the beginning that may eventuate in the es- 
tablishment of such a university." 

The School and its educational program was enthusias- 
tically received by Georgeists throughout the country. The 
financial support, however, was somewhat disappointing, 
but Mr. Geiger, moved by a deep faith, carried on and 
struggled to build the School on firm and secure founda- 
tions. At great personal sacrifice he devoted almost his 
entire savings to keep the venture alive, and pure. He was 
truly a martyr. 

The School grew, so that in each succeeding issue of 
LAND AND FREEDOM, more and more progress could be re- 
ported. "Mr. Geiger seems determined to make the School 
a United Movement Effort rather than a one-man institu- 
tion." "If success is the accomplishment of what one sets 
out to do, the Henry George School of Social Science can 
surely be accounted a success." But it must not be thought 
that Mr. Geiger was so engrossed with the educational pro- 
gram of the School that he had no interest in the larger 
purpose of the institution. He constantly iterated that the 
School was "but a means to an end, i.e., the attainment of 
our reforms." 

Through the issues of LAND AND FREEDOM, we trace the 
growth of this School. Step by step it. unfolded. A Board 
of Trustees was organized. It secured a Charter from the 
New York State Board of Regents. John Dewey consented 
to be its Honorary President. Within a year it had larger 
headquarters at 21 1 West 79th Street, New York City. "An 
address that is the making of an epoch," Mr. Miller called 

it. Classes were held every day, with Mr. Geiger as in- 
structor and "Progress and Poverty" as the text-book. The 
students, fired with the enthusiasm imparted by their mas- 
ter, formed a Student Alumni Council, headed by Helen D. 
Denbigh, and conceived of a Henry George Fellowship 
which was to rally all the followers of Henry George to- 
gether. "The students have taken hold !" Miller wrote joy- 

Oscar H. Geiger, the Founder and Director, passed away 
June, 1934. But he lived long enough to see the beginning 
of an assured growth. "The School must go on!" was the 
watchword of Oscar Geiger's loyal followers. The Stu- 
dent Alumni Council, the Henry George Fellowship, all 
rallied together to continue the great educational work. 
They were the true apostles of the Founder. 

The founding of the Henry George School of Social 
Science was another milestone in the progress of the Henry 
George movement. It was another step in the clarification 
of the movement. It was another of the resources the fol- 
lowers of Henry George were creating in order to carry the 
movement to success. Since Henry George had been un- 
justly ignored by institutions of learning, a special institu- 
tion had to be founded devoted to filling what Prof. Harry 
Gunnison Brown calls "the void in college curricula." 

Year by year the Henry George School continued grow- 
ing. An increasing number of students took its courses, an 
increasing number of leaders were made. Extensions of 
the School were established in cities and towns all over the 
country. Its fame spread to other nations. Georgeists in 
Canada, England, Denmark and Australia emulated the 
School and its educational program. In Canada, a School 
of Economic Science was launched. England took the 
name of Henry George School of Social Science. In Aus- 
tralia it was the New South Wales School of Social Science. 
In Denmark it was the Okoteknisk Hojskole. The Henry 
George School method also influenced such later Georgeist 
organizations as We, the Citizens, and the School of Democ- 

The idea of the Henry George Fellowship was enthusias- 
tically taken up by graduates of the Henry George School 
in various cities. Chapters of the Fellowship were formed, 
and a Federated Fellowship was established. Joseph Dana 
Miller saw this as a step toward the goal of a United Move- 
ment Effort. He wrote : "Disproving the old theory that the 
Single Taxers were too individualistic to organize and 
achieve their common goal, the Federated Chapters of the 
Henry George Fellowship have demonstrated that George- 
ists can and will cooperate." 

Today the Henry George School occupies a large 5-story 
building at 30 East 29th Street, New York City, with Mr. 
Frank Chodorov as Director. The Robert Schalkenbach 
Foundation also has its offices in the same structure. 



January February, 1941 

Unto the End 

From the heights, as a spiritual leader of the Henry 
George movement, the aging Joseph Dana Miller continued 
with undiminished zeal and ability to chronicle the epic of 
a mighty movement to free mankind. The hands trembled 
a little, the eyes were somewhat dimmed but the mind 
was as clear, the pen as keen as ever. The parade went by 
. . . The Henry George School was growing. In California, 
most persistent center of political action, Judge Jackson 
Ralston was waging a campaign to repeal the sales tax ana 
substitute a land value tax. Overseas, the International 
Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade was 
spreading its influence despite darkening clouds on the in- 
ternational scene. The old controversies within the move- 
ment were again being waged : To organize or not to organ- 
ize; is interest justified; is political action premature; the 
School of 1897 versus an improved and modernized science 
of economics ; etc., etc. 

And Joseph Dana Miller, venerable sage, was growing 
more kindly, more tolerant. Around him, the Samuel 
Johnson of the movement, the Georgeists flocked. They 
were all his children, all working for the same cause. Let 
them all have their say. Something good will come out of 

The November-December 1938 issue was the last num- 
ber of LAND AND FREEDOM edited by Joseph Dana Miller. 
As long as he was able he appeared every day at the office. 
After that issue, ebbing health did not permit him to con- 
tinue. But this, his last issue did it show any signs of de- 
cline, or senility? Let us glance at it: A powerful edito- 
rial on the current trend toward collectivism, and a clarion 
call to return to Liberty a clear-headed evaluation of or- 
ganization and political action, and a plea for unified 
Georgeist effort the story of the California campaign by 
Jackson Ralston an article by Benjamin W. Burger dem- 
onstrating the possibility of collecting the rent of land under 
existing Federal laws the program of the newly formed 
Tax Relief Association, an organization intended to inter- 
est business men, by Victor A. Rule and the news of the 
Georgeist movement throughout the world. 

During Mr. Miller's last illness in the early part of 1939, 
the business and editing of LAND AND FREEDOM was as- 
sumed by Charles Jos. Smith, who now conducts the enter- 
prise as Trustee under the last will and testament of the 
Founder. Mr. Smith enjoys the collaboration of his co-edi- 
tors, Mr. Jos. Hiram Newman and Mr. Robert Clancy. 

On May 8, 1939, Joseph Dana Miller passed away. The 
May- June 1939 number was devoted to his memory. Trib- 
utes poured in from every part of the world. They were fol- 
lowed by a ringing appeal that LAND AND FREEDOM should 
continue the work of the Founder. And it' has, 


LAND AND FREEDOM, after Miller's death, continued tc 
be just what it had been in the past the voice of the Henrj 
George movement. If the world wished to know what wa: 
the status of the Georgeist cause, it might turn to the page: 
of this journal. 

With the clouds of world conflict again darkening 
Georgeists from all over the world convened at New Yorl 
in 1939 to celebrate the Centenary of Henry George. I 
was fateful that September 2nd, the hundredth anniversar 
of the birth of that great economist and social philosopher 
should witness the outbreak of a cataclysm that he prophe 
sied would engulf our civilization. 

With these terrible world events accumulating, LAND AN 
FREEDOM continues to perform its mission, continues th 
tradition of Joseph Dana Miller. It continues to exhort th 
people to turn to Liberty while there is yet time. It stand 
for the philosophy of Henry George in all its power. An 
it stands for a United Effort on the part of all who embrac 
the philosophy of freedom to pull together for the grea 
work of leading the Georgeist reform to success the on 
salvation for mankind. 

L & F and the Biosophical Institute 

WE have been fortunate in making the acquain 
ance of the Biosophical Institute, an organizatic 
devoted to peace and character education. The Institu 
welcomes all views that tend toward better understandir 
and more peaceful relations among men. In keeping wi' 
such a policy, it has offered its radio facilities to this journ? 
and already we have been on the air twice, over Static 
WLTH, New York City. 

Pleased with our radio presentation of the Georgeist ph 
losophy, Mr. Francis Merchant, Program Director, invite 
us to give a talk before a group which meets weekly at t) 
headquarters of the Institute. For this occasion, Mr. Robe 
Clancy and Mr. Charles Jos. Smith engaged in a dialogi 
before an audience of about 75 persons. The dialogue w 
based upon "You and America's Future," the pamphlet pr 
pared by Robert Clancy and William W. Newcomb. T! 
audience appeared well pleased with the presentation, shoi 
ing remarkable intelligence in the type of questions put 
the speakers after the dialogue. 

We feel that a fine relationship has been established, ai 
we endorse the lofty purposes of the Biosophical Institui 
Its headquarters are at the Hotel Dauphin, 67th Street a: 
Broadway, in New York City, 

January February, 1941 



The Land Tax Fight in Oklahoma 

President, Oklahoma Farmers' Union 

November 5, 1940, an important event took place in 
Oklahoma. The people of the State carried a fight 
or a Graduated Land Tax to the polls, actually obtaining 
. majority of more than two to one and yet the measure 
vas defeated because of undemocratic rule. 

The Graduated Land Tax Bill grew out of a very real 
nd urgent need in Oklahoma. The State is rapidly becom- 
ng depopulated, and nearly 75% of the land is farmed by 
enants, due to the blight of land speculation and land mono- 
>oly, as well as unjust taxes. Before a special Committee 
f the State Congress, I testified that 74,000 people had been 
orced to emigrate from Oklahoma because of these condi- 
ions. In one little town in Caddo County alone, fifty fami- 
ies had been sold out for mortgages or taxes, and had left 
or California. Giant farm holdings are spreading, and 
nore and more family-sized farms are being pushed out of 

This is a very strange set of conditions for this State, 
ecausL' originally the Oklahoma territory was intended to be 
eserved for home owners. It was intended that speculation 
>e prevented by granting the land to those who would use it 
olely for homes. But the entering wedge for the specula- 
ors was a small unallotted balance in the Indian Territory. 
3y 1903, one-fourth of the land was in the hands of non- 
roducing owners. 

This situation did not go unchallenged. As far back 
s 1905 there was agitation for the Graduated Land Tax 
s a solution to the growing problem of farm tenancy. In 
908 State Senator Campbell Russell introduced a land tax 
mendment, and it was passed in both houses to be defeat- 
d in the Courts on a technicality. In 1914 a land tax bill 
vas presented as an initiatory measure, and it actually ob- 
ained two-thirds of the votes cast but was defeated 
drough fraudulent ballot tactics. 

Now, more than ever with three-fourths of the land 
n the hands of monopolists Oklahoma needs the graduated 
and tax. The Oklahoma Farmers' Union realized this and 
iecided to put to the voters of Oklahoma the question: Shall 
Graduated Land Tax amendment to the State Constitution 
e adopted? A determined effort was made to submit the 
:uestion as an initiatory measure at the general election on 
vTovember 5, 1940. A petition was circulated (Initiative 
3 etition No. 145) by the Union, and the names of 172,000 
oters in favor of the amendment were secured. 

The amendment to be decided upon by the voters was 
s follows: 


Adopting a Constitutional Amendment Author- 
ising a Graduated Land Tax and Including Vitaliz- 
Inij Provisions to Make the Same Effective; Same 
to Constitute a New Article of the Constitution, to 
Be Numbered XII-B and to Read as Follows : 

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Okla- 
homa : 


SECTION 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy 
and the purpose of the people of Oklahoma to en- 
courage home ownership and to discourage exces- 
sive land holdings in this State by any person, and 
to levy and collect on land such graduated or other 
tax as they may deem best for the public weal. 


(a) Except the real estate of common carriers 
authorized to be held by them by the Constitution 
of this State, and except land covered by the first 
Proviso in Section two (2) of Article twenty-two 
(XXII) of this Constitution until the expiration of 
the time stipulated herein, and except land devoted 
to forestation, reforestation, or to reclamation, and 
lands operated principally for grazing purposes; 
the owner, whether legal or equitable, whether per- 
son, firm, association, joint stock association, or 
corporation and whether resident or not of this 
State, of any land in this State, in excess of six 
hundred forty (640) acres shall, in addition to other 
ad valorem taxes, pay upon such excess the follow- 
ing annual tax for the purpose of State Old Age 
Security, which tax is hereby levied, to wit : 

For each one dollar of valuation of such excess 
acreage, as assessed for taxation ad valorem in the 
preceding year, the following schedule: 

For the first year following the adoption of this 

Five mills where such excess does not exceed 
640 acres ; 

Ten mills on such excess exceeding 640 acres and 
not exceeding 1,280 acres; 

Fifteen mills on such excess exceeding 1,280 

For the next succeeding year, such tax shall 



January February, 1941 

Ten mills upon excess not exceeding 640 acres ; 

Fifteen mills upon such excess exceeding 640 
acres and not exceeding 1,280 acres ; 

Twenty mills upon such excess not exceeding 
1,280 acres. 

For the next succeeding year such tax shall 

Fifteen mills upon the first 640 acres of such 
excess ; 

Twenty mills upon such excess exceeding 640 
acres and not exceeding 1,280 acres ; 

Twenty-five mills upon all excess exceeding 
1,280 acres. 

Five mills shall continue thus to be added to each 
succeeding step of such tax for each following year 
until such annual tax rate shall reach 40, 45, and 
50 mills as maxima : 

Provided, that land of an assessed value of $12,- 
000 may, at his option, be exempt to any owner in 
lieu of only the first 640 acres herein provided : And 
Provided further, that where land now owned is 
sold for a home within five years from the adop- 
tion hereof, 98 per cent of all tax theretofore levied 
thereon hereunder shall be refunded to the owner 
paying same. 

(b) The time when the tax levied hereunder is 
payable, and when delinquent, and the penalty and 
lien for non-payment shall be as in the case of other 
ad valorem taxes ; and the State Tax Commission 
is hereby authorized and directed to collect said 
tax and to make needful rules and regulations and 
prescribed forms for the enforcement thereof and 
to settle all questions that arise hereunder, grant- 
ing to any taxpayer a hearing and the right to offer 
evidence, with an appeal from the final order of the 
Tax Commission to the District Court of the 
county where any portion of the land is situated, 
in the same manner as appeals from the county 
court. The Tax Commission is authorized to retain 
two (2) per cent of all tax collected hereunder as 
recoupment for their expense therein. 

(c) The above tax levies shall be considered as 
separate and independent each of all the others and 
in the event any part of this proposition shall be 
held to be invalid, inoperative or ineffectual then 
such invalid, inoperative, or ineffectual part shall 
not affect the other parts hereof. 

* * * 

A leaflet explaining the amendment as a measure to pre- 
vent land monopoly, and urging support of it was circulat- 
ed among 300,000 voters of Oklahoma prior 1p the Novem- 
ber election. 

Together with the Graduated Land Tax, a Cooperative 
Hospital Bill was also introduced as a similar initiatory 
measure. Both were fought bitterly by the press and 
the privileged class. The State Chamber of Commerce issued 
statements to the effect that all initiatory amendments 
are dangerous, experimental, and not to be considered in 
these critical times. In fact, if it had not been for their 
tactics, the land tax measure would have been introduced 
five years ago. 

The controlled press also lashed out against the measure. 
The metropolitan papers are owned by the vested interests, 
who are always opposed to any legislation depriving them 
of their special privileges. It is significant, however, that 
nearly all small independent newspapers were in favor of 
the land tax. 

Though we had bitter opposition from the vested inter- 
ests, we won much valuable help. Among the supporters 
of the land tax bill was Judge James I. Phelps, veteran jurist 
and former chief justice of the Oklahoma State Supreme 
Court. Judge Phelps was convinced that the most impor- 
tant question before the citizenship of the state was to stop 
the rapid trend toward land monopoly, and urged the pas- 
sage of the land tax as the solution. Another welcome sup- 
porter was Judge Orel Busby, who believed that every 
farmer should have his own farm, saw the danger in in- 
creasing farm tenancy, and gave the Union his endorsement. 

We were also glad to receive the support of Labor. The 
Oklahoma State Federation of Labor, in its 36th annual 
convention at Tulsa, passed unanimously two strong resolu- 
tions endorsing the Farmers' Union Graduated Land Tax 
and Cooperative Hospital petitions. They resolved to "ac- 
tively support the Graduated Land Tax by explaining the 
measure to others, making speeches, distributing literature 
that they might understand the importance of preventing 
land monopoly." Many independent candidates to the Okla- 
homa legislature supported our program ; among them was 
Tom McLemore, independent candidate to the U. S. Con- 

In our own paper, The Oklahoma Union Farmer, we con- 
stantly stressed the need for the Graduated Land Tax, and 
in every issue we featured articles on this most important 

On November 5, all voters were handed our two initiative 
Ballots as they entered the polls. The Graduated Land Tax 
measure was State Question No. 215 ,and the Cooperative 
Hospital Bill was State Question No. 241. 

The Graduated Land Tax carried by a total vote of 408,- 
559 as against 196,711 dissenting votes. The Cooperative 
Hospital bill carried by a total vote of 294,346 as against 
212,701 dissenting votes. This victory should inspire every 
citizen in the nation to renewed confidence in democratic 
government, and make clear that the people themselves are 

January 1'cbniary, 1941 



capable of deciding any great question at the ballot box. 

The people by their vote decided that they are opposed to 
land monopoly and that they want the Graduated Land Tax. 
But as our procedure now stands, the silent vote was 
counted against its. That is, the people who did not vote on 
the question, either for or against, were counted against us. 

Representative government cannot long endure and toler- 
ate this undemocratic rule. It has no place in a democracy. 
The people who go to the polls and vote for a measure and 
the opposition who vote against it should be recorded, and 
those votes only should determine that measure. 

The resentment against landlordism was clearly evi- 
denced on November 5. The use of land for speculation and 
investment rather than for a farm home has been rejected 
by the people. The vote for the Graduated Land Tax is a 
mandate to the present legislature that the constituents in 
73 counties are ovewhelmingly in favor of the tax. 

The Oklahoma Farmers' Union is now going to do the 
only thing that can be done that is, to fight for a Constitu- 
tional Amendment that will make the initiative and referen- 
dum a reality in Oklahoma, so as to insure democratic rule. 
We are going to get together all the voters of the State, and 
present a joint resolution directing the Secretary of State to 
refer to the people of Oklahoma for their approval or rejec- 
tion a proposed Amendment to Section 3 of Article V of 
the State Constitution, to safeguard the right of the people 
to legislate for themselves. 

Our program for 1941 includes a plan to organize the 
voters on the question of democratic rule. Let the con- 
trolled press and the vested interests exult for the time be- 
ing. But the Graduated Land Tax shall be fought for again. 

The Critics Criticized 


[This is the second of a series of articles by the same author, 
dealing with the objections of noted economists to the doctrines of 
Henry George, and the refutation of such objections. The first in 
the series, published in the November-December 1940 issue, answered 
the objections of Prof. F. VV. Taussig ED.] 

1"N this article I shall examine the arguments of Prof. 
- Henry Rogers Seager, who in his "Principles of Eco- 
nomics" (Henry Holt & Co.) attacks Henry George with a 
surprising hostility. 

Henry Rogers Seager 

[Henry Rogers Seager was born in 1870, and died in 1930, in 
Kiev, Russia, whither he had gone to study the Soviet philosophy. 
An extremely conservative economist, he clung tenaciously to his 
interpretation of the laissez-faire doctrine. He was Professor of 
Economics at Columbia University from 1905 to 1930. He believed 
in meliorative activities within the existing economic structure, and 
was secretary of the Shipbuilding Labor Adjustment Board and 

president of the Economic Association. ''Principles of Economics" 
is his most noted work.] 

Seager's eight objections follow : 

1 Poverty has undoubtedly persisted in spite of prog- 
ress, but has not increased with it. 

2 It is untrue that improvements increase rent. If it- 
were true, the condition of the masses would never im- 

3 Henry George's claims were extravagant and un- 

A No relation exists between the rent fund and the 
legitimate needs of government. Two cities of the same 
size and the same rent fund may spend different amounts 
for public purposes. 

5 No tax is desirable as a single tax. 

6 Confiscation of land would be a monstrous piece of 
injustice. It might be countenanced if any rational 
ground for it existed, but under the circumstances, it is 
unqualifiedly condemned. It would "overturn an estab- 
lished institution." 

7 Impractical it certainly is, because present land- 
owners paid a purchase price for their land. 

8 It is impossible to distinguish the value of improve- 
ments from the value of land, (a) If we tax improve- 
ments as well as land, we would discourage production, 
(b) If we tax land only, it would be difficult to determine 
which is, and which is not, land. 


I think that any person not hostilely inclined would readily 
admit that as a nation progresses in culture and inventions, 
poverty increases in the degree to which access to the land 
is lessened. This country is a good example. One hundred 
years ago, when America was still in the formative stages, 
poverty was not a serious problem. Today, the head of our 
Government admits that one-third of the population is ill- 
clothed, ill-housed and ill-fed. Today our brilliant leaders 
are unable to cope with the vast and miserable army of our 
unemployed, except to find "useful employment" for them 
in prisons, WPA projects and home relief. 


To deny that improvements increase rent is colossal 
mendacity. Improvements increase rent in two ways : First, 
by facilitating production and increasing the amount of 
wealth, thereby increasing the value of land already used 
since all weath must be produced on and with land ; second, 
by extending production and research, thereby compelling 
a demand for more land, and thus pushing out the margin 
of production. 

The automobile industry, besides making Detroit the 
fourth largest city in the United States, has raised rents 
throughout the country. The development of the auto- 
mobile, by increasing the number of industries and jobs, by 
adding to the amount of national wealth, by spurring other 



January February, 1941 

inventions, has not only raised rents throughout the nation, 
but throughout the entire world. The development of the 
radio, electricity, telephone, aeroplane, have all added to 
the national wealth and the increase of rent. 

The mass of people demand improvements because they 
expect them to lighten toil and make living easier. Improve- 
ments do tend to have that effect, but the private ownership 
of land intervenes. By increasing rents inordinately and 
withholding land from use, that venerable institution throws 
men out of work and causes competition between men and 
machines, as well as between men and men. 


No explanation follows the assertion that George's 
"extreme claims were extravagant and unwarranted." We 
can therefore answer this only by asserting the contrary. 
Nothing that tells the truth is extravagant and unwarranted. 
If anything, George was moderate in both language and 


The objection that there is no relation between the rent 
fund and the legitimate needs of government because two 
cities similar in size and rent have different budgets, might 
be answered with the following illustration : 

Suppose Edwards employs Jones and Brown, and pays 
each twenty dollars a week. Jones spends his twenty 
dollars during the week, while Brown spends only fifteen, 
and places five dollars in the bank. Following Seager's 
argument, Edwards would say to Brown : "I pay Jones 
twenty dollars a week, and he spends the whole sum; there- 
fore a definite relation exists between his wages and his 
spending. I pay you twenty dollars too, but you spend only 
fifteen; therefore there is no such relation between your 
wages and your budget. I must cut down your salary five 
dollars." To which Brown should reply: "Regardless of 
how much I spend, that is no concern of yours. I earn 
twenty dollars a week, and the money is mine to do with as 
I please. I choose to save part of it so that, if conditions 
arise, I will have it for future needs." 

Regardless of what a city's budget is, the rent fund was 
created by the people, it is their rightful earnings, and only 
they may decide how much and in what manner it is to be 
spent or saved for a future contingency. 


The objection that no tax is desirable as a single tax is 
not explained by Seager. Perhaps he feels that it is not 
fair to discriminate against landowners and compel them 
to bear the whole burden of taxation, while other taxable 
values exist. The same objection may be interposed by a 
traveller who appropriates three-fourths of his fellow- 
traveller's wealth. He might complain disingenuously that it 
isn't fair for him to bear all the expenses of {he journey 
when there are two undertaking the trip. 


Having imagined that he has demonstrated that the single 
tax cannot be countenanced on any rational ground, Seager 
concludes that the confiscation of land would be a monstrous 
act. "It would overturn an established institution !" Just 
imagine the outraged feelings of Captain Kidd if, after 
all the years of building up his fortune, which required a 
great deal of labor and throat-slashing, an unfeeling govern- 
ment were to recover all his loot and gently reprimand our 
hero for his accumulations ! Some better argument than 
that it is an "established institution" will have to be found 
for the institution of private landownership. 


Seager believes he has found his justification of private 
ownership of land in the fact that the present owners paid 
a purchase price for their land. So would some citizen of 
Kalamazoo wave a certificate of ownership of the Brooklyn 
Bridge before an impassive judge, which certificate he pur- 
chased with hard-earned cash from a passing salesman. 

We need not feel too concerned over those who purchased 
something which cannot belong to any one man that is, 
concerned to the extent of allowing the injustice to remain. 
Under George's system, the purchaser's loss of investment 
will be more than offset by the new advantages and oppor- 
tunities that arise. 

Let us not fail to observe that the institution of private 
ownership of land can be traced to conquest and fraud ; and 
that the great bulk of present day landholdings was obtain- 
ed, not by purchase, but by inheritance and shady dealings. 


(a) I have already answered this question in the previ- 
ous article. However, answering it as presented by Seager, 
I will freely grant that if we tax improvements we dis- 
courage production. This is exactly the practice that 
Georgeists oppose. It is ironic that this objection should 
be presented by an advocate of things-as-they-are, including 
the present system of taxation which bears upon most of 
the things of human production. 

(b) I have shown in my last article that it is possible 
and practicable to distinguish between improvements and 
land. Since this objection will again be encountered in other 
critics, I shall elaborate upon the question as the occasion 


Index for 1940, Vol. XL 

TNDEX for Volume XL (January-December, 1940) of 
* LAND AND FREEDOM will be mailed free upon request, 
when accompanied by a (large) self-addressed stamped en- 
velope, to subscribers who bind their copies as works of 
reference. The index consists of four pages and has an ap- 
propriate "key" for locating titles of articles, names of 
authors, subjects, etc. 

January February, 1941 



Reconstruction in Great Britain 


/CAPITAL wealth in the countries at war is being 
^^ destroyed ruthlessly, whilst the land, from which all 
wealth is produced, remains indestructible by any bombing. 
[Portion deleted by censor.] The site remains, and can still 
be bought and sold as negotiable property. Whilst the mutual 
destruction of wealth goes on, discussion proceeds in Great 
Britain of plans for post-war reconstruction. The British 
Press and other forums of opinion are full of hopes of 
building a better social order on the ruins of the old. The 
demolition of slums by high explosives is almost welcomed, 
by some who don't live in them, as providing the opportunity 
for experiments in town-planning on the devastated areas. 
Blue prints of our new cities appear faster than the ground 
can be cleared for their application. The primary fact, so 
often overlooked, remains, that the private landowner is 
not dispossessed by the most intense bombing by the enemy. 
To paraphrase a famous saying : So much will still be owed, 
in the shape of land rent, by so many land-users, to so few 
"land monopolists. 

It will no doubt be matter for boasting, when the war is 
over, how well our British institutions have stood the strain. 
Certainly that hoary institution, older than Parliament it- 
self and, so far more powerful, the land-owning interest, 
seems likely to survive the nation's ordeal, whatever else 
survives unless, of course, the work of our Land Values 
Leagues succeeds and heed is taken of Henry George. 

Proposals for betterment their name is legion are put 
forth for every aspect of our national life. In agriculture 
for example, the need for increased production of food- 
stuffs is constantly stressed, by authorities who ought to 
ask why such an obvious necessity should require lecturing 
about. Price-fixing with the aid of subsidies is advocated 
by one writer, another, equally expert, says that all the 
price-fixing in the world can never constitute an enduring 
land policy; so he advocates a Land Commission to regu- 
late the rotation of crops and to have compulsory powers 
of purchase of land. 

Another advocate of compulsory acquisition of unculti- 
vated land is none other than the Conservative, Lord 
Winterton. Speaking in the House of Commons on Decem- 
ber 4th, he said: "Not enough attention has been directed to 
the huge area of land in this country which is cultivable 
not derelict, but not at present cultivated. Every acre bore 
corn or produced stock in the Napoleonic wars, and our 
position today is at least as grave as then." Our English 
Land Values Leagues have been pointing to those unused 
acres for years. It looks as though propaganda is having 
some effect at last. Lord Winterton, however, went on to 

press for compulsory purchase as the cure, so he has not 
learnt his lesson complete. 

None of these reforms seems to realize the fact that the 
mention of subsidies and public purchase of land will excite 
the expectations of landowners and tend to raise the 
speculative value of land. Land for farming purposes is 
already experiencing a boom. Land & Liberty gives many 
instances of the effect of war conditions on the growing of 
foodstuffs and consequently in the enhancing of land values. 
A writer in the Daily Telegraph, London, is quoted as 
saying: "Everything derives from the land, whether it is 
food, clothes, buildings, drink or transport. But food and 
clothing come first. The result is that farms which grow 
crops and beasts, fruit and vegetables, poultry and pigs 
have steadily appreciated in value since the memorable 3rd 
of September 1939." The extent of the increase in price 
is indicated by the same writer's statement : "Knight, Frank 
and Rutley, a firm who have sold approximately 30,000 
acres of land since the war began, tell me that on a broad, 
general average, prices have appreciated by from 15 to 20 
per cent. They are still rising." Yet the experts on grass 
and crops and livestock ignore this rising obstacle to recon- 
struction and increased production in their calculations. 

In the plans for rebuilding the derelict bombed areas we 
see the same lack of economic perspective. London areas 
rendered uninhabitable are still the property of this or that 
great landowner who will have to be consulted before re- 
building can begin. If as a preliminary step the tax- 
collector were sent to consult with the owners of new 
building sites as to the value of their land for taxing pur- 
poses, then those who want to reconstruct and make waste 
places habitable would be able to treat with landowners on 
a fairer footing. As it is, the absence of any tax on land 
values leaves the owner of land to exercise his monopoly 
rights even in the time of the nation's extremity. To cull 
from Land & Liberty (December 1940) : The War Office 
could only acquire land for its needs in Croydon by using 
its compulsory powers, and the price had to be fixed by 
arbitration, and was equivalent to 1084 per acre. This 
land had practically no value when assessed for local tax- 
ation purposes. If the War Office could not treat with the 
owners except with compulsory powers, what chance has 
the ordinary town council or private builder when they 
want to erect houses for the homeless public? Had there 
been a tax on land values, even a moderate tax, the trans- 
action would have been on more equal terms. This is the 
cornerstone rejected by reconstruction builders who pay 
no heed to the economics of "Progress and Poverty." 



January February, 1941 

In ill-fated Coventry, the City Architect, Mr. D. V.. 
Gibson has stated that the bombing has given them the 
chance of rebuilding "a dignified and fitting city center." 
In a lecture, he said : "Many citizens had despaired of this 
possibility before the bombing. High land values, among 
other factors, made it seem impossible. In a night all is 
changed. People are now asking themselves, Will the land- 
owners, with their often short-sighted and acquisitive out- 
look, again be allowed to smash the ideas of our twentieth- 
century Wrens?" 

All this is to the point, but Mr. Gibson shows his own 
limitations when he comes to the remedy, for he concluded 
as follows: "For the good of the community private inter- 
ests must be subordinated to public ones. The only solution 
for Great Britain now lies in some form of nationalization 
of all land. This could be achieved in a number of ways, 
one solution being to convert all free-hold property into 
leasehold to the State, with a 99 years' lease, which would 
at least give some control over building". 

An ingenious proposal, but why not the simpler method 
of nationalizing the land-rent fund by progressive taxation 
of land values? Mr. Gibson may not have heard of Henry 
George though he shows, like many other public men in 
Great Britain today, that he cannot help being influenced 
by Georgeist educational work in the last generation or two 
in his recognition that the land value question is central to 
the problem. 

A recent striking instance of the good results of the work 
of our Leagues is found in the Report of the special Com- 
mittee of the Town Planning Institute. This report does 
not advocate a tax on land values we must not expect too 
much. But it does emphasize the need for a national valu- 
ation of all land in the country "by one authority at one 
time upon uniform principles". This Committee does not 
recommend the nationalization of all land, but rather its 
compulsory purchase in urban or rural areas wherever 
required for purposes of planning. They say: "We are 
convinced that the chief obstacle of the achievement of 
positive results by statutory planning is that it is hampered 
on all sides by a multiplicity and variety of interests". The 
Committee also envisages a conflict of plans between those 
who wish to preserve rural amenities and those who want 
to expand the towns on new lines. The Committee wants 
to "check extravagant claims for schemes for the redevelop- 
ment of built-upon areas". 

In commenting in its leader columns on this report the 
Manchester Guardian said: "But in the (bombed) districts 
streets are owned, perhaps, by a great many people, and 
more still draw profits from things as they are. All of these 
will be affected by the change for the better. They have 
drawn incomes from what has been condemned, and not 
only will they want to be compensated for tjieir loss but 
will seek to share in any rise in the value of their property 

through the planning authority's improvements". The 
Guardian endorses the proposal for an "unprejudiced valu- 
ation", and in this the workers in the Henry George move- 
ment may see signs of progress in public opinion. Our 
town-planners and reformers are "not far from the king- 
dom". To change the metaphor they are getting so near 
to the only solution that "if it were a dog it would bite 

Town Planners have only themselves to blame if they 
find that the legislation they have sponsored is inadequate, 
and that they are compelled to join in the demand for land 
valuation. They were indifferent to, and in fact, many of 
their leaders actively opposed, the Snowden Land Vahn. 
Finance Act of 1931. The Town Planning Acts, with their 
much lauded "betterment principle", which was their answer 
to land value taxation, they now find not merely inadequate 
but actually mischievous, for the basis of assessment for 
compensation takes no account of land value as such, does 
not separate land value from improvements, and exempts 
any land, however valuable, if it is vacant. The increase 
in land values resulting from town planning schemes was 
not to be taken for the community which financed the 
schemes, but to be handed over to other landowners whose 
land values were decreased by town planning. This decrease 
is not, of course, a "loss" to landowners- in the strict sense, 
but only a reduction in the gains accruing to them by the 
presence and expenditure of the community. But they were 
to be insured against this out of increased land values 
which Town Planners prevented from returning to the com- 
munity which created them. Now, nine years after, these 
well-meaning people* find they cannot get on with their 
plans without the valuation which they could have had in 
1931 but for their own obstructionist tactics. It is still 
necessary to ask them if the valuation they want is to 
ascertain the true market value of the land apart from 
improvements. If not, their valuation will again be useless 
to them. 

One more illustration of the trend of reconstruction 
thought may be given. Prof. C. H. Reilly, the great author- 
ity, describes the planners' task thus : "This general program 
must determine the planning of industry throughout the 
country: which 'towns should be allowed to grow, which 
should be curtailed by the removal of its factories, where 
the new towns are to be placed, which new coal-fields 
should be developed, which sources of water power, where 
land is to be reserved for national parks, where forests 
should be extended, where reduced. . . to decide the fate of 
that particular town, whether it should be allowed to hold 
a greater or less population". 

*To whom Mr. Harold S. Buttenheim (editor of The American 
City) made his eloquent and powerful appeal at the Conference of 
the International Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade 
in London, in 1936. 

January February, 1941 



We may leave the well-meaning town-planners to settle 
with the country-planners, merely recommending to both a 
study of the law of economic rent and its application under 
conditions of freedom from land monopoly. One gem 
shines forth from Prof. Reilly's plan. He says: "Clearly 
speculation in land and building will have to be stopped". 
He does not say how this is to be done, leaving it no doubt 
to the economists. American readers may be sure that 
British land valuers will make the fullest use of this growing 
receptiveness of the public mind for the Georgean message, 
which is in itself a result of persistent advocacy over many 

The Town Planning Committee, like other reform groups, 
recommends the expenditure of public money in payment 
to landowners for permission to reconstruct a devastated 
Britain. Not only do they thus create obstacles to their 
own schemes by causing inflated hopes and inflated values ; 
they also bring discredit on all reconstruction efforts which 
begin by taking further large sums from the already over- 
burdened taxpayers. Let the landowners begin to restore 
to the community the values created by the community 
which are registered in land-values and we shall then have 
the essential ground plan for all reconstruction. 

It was not a Georgeist, but the Financial Editor of the 
Manchester Guardian who wrote: "Far more poverty and 
hardship could easily be caused by false economic policies 
after the war than by the war itself". A bold thing to say, 
and only those who know their Henry George can judge 
how true it is that, awful as are the afflictions of war, they 
do not surpass the social miseries and tragedies caused, 
generation after generation, by the perpetuation of the 
private monopoly of land. Britain may yet lead the way 
in lifting this entail of suffering. 

Canada's Wartime Economy 


"1TI7HEN Canada entered the war, the government de- 
" clared for a pay-as-you-go policy as far as possible, 
with the result that federal taxation is much higher than 
formerly. The average man feels it particularly in the 
National Defense tax on wages. Single persons earning 
from $600 to $1200 per year pay 2%, and 3% over $1200. 
A married person is exempt up to $1200, but pays 2% if 
the income exceeds $1200 per annum, with an allowance 
of $8 for each dependent child. The regular income tax 
has been extended to take in still lower paid groups. For 
example, before the war, incomes under $2000 a year for 
married men were exempt, but the lowest limit now is $1500. 
( >n single incomes, the exemption has been lowered from 
$1000 to $750. Some articles which had formerly been 
exempt from Federal sales tax were made liable to this tax. 
Despite all the extra taxes, however, resort has had to be 

made to loans, and several large loans have been over- 

Strenuous efforts are being made to bring into effect a 
better economic order in Western Canada. It is recognized 
now that soil was devoted to wheat growing which should 
never have been so used. Under government auspices, 
crested wheat grass, originally imported from Russia, is 
being sown on a large scale. Its deep roots hold the soil 
and prevent drifting. Settlers are being removed from 
submarginal lands to better land farther north in Saskatche- 
wan, and nearly 2,000,000 acres have been returned to state 
ownership in the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Scheme, and 
these tracts are being used for grazing purposes. Users 
pay a rental per head of cattle grazed. Extensive irrigation 
projects are a part of this huge reclamation scheme. 

A number of controls have been put into effect as war 
measures. A new experience for Canadians is foreign ex- 
change control. Canada's purchases from the United States 
for war purposes are so huge that the balance of trade has 
run the Canadian dollar down to a value of 89c in American 
currency. In other words, we have to- provide $1.10 
Canadian money to pay for every American dollar's worth 
that we buy. Trade for other than war munitions and such 
things as citrus fruits is discouraged. Only Canadians 
travelling on official business can get funds wherewith to 
travel in the United States. 

Another feature of wartime economy is rent control. 
The sudden influx of workers into centers like Ottawa, 
Halifax, Parry Sound, Vancouver, etc., caused rents to 
skyrocket, and rent profiteering was rampant. This situ- 
ation was met by the appointment of a Rent Controller, and 
the pegging of rents as of January 1940. Rental courts 
have been sitting in numerous centers and their proceedings 
have enlivened the pages of the newspapers. In Ottawa, 
at every sitting of the rentals court, landlords and tenants 
each have a representative on the tribunal, the third member 
being a judge. It would appear that these courts are not 
sticking to the letter of the regulation the decisions seem 
to be establishing a fair rental although in the main there 
is a close adherence to the spirit of the control. The gov 
ernment's announcement of rent control aroused the ire of 
the Property Owners' Associations, the president of one 
of the leading groups denouncing the move as "totalitarian 
control over the destinies of the land-owning people of 
Canada." The same Individual asserted that he didn't 
believe in any government body trying to exploit the land- 
lord. That runs true to caste. 

Once more a Canadian government has shown kindness 
of the hard cash variety to landlords, such as the British 
government has shown to the owners of coal mines. By 
a payment of $3,200,000 to some 245 seigniories by the gov- 
ernment of the Province of Quebec, 60,000 French Canadian 



January February, 1941 

farmers are freed hereafter from the obligation to pay rent 
to the descendants of the seigneurs who received immense 
grants of land during the French regime in Canada. The 
savings to the habitants* will be some $180,000 a year. 

The Quebec Legislature decided on this step at its last 
session, and so ended a matter which has been contentious 
for over a century. When the French came to Canada 
they transplanted the feudal system to New France.' Most 
of the lands bordering the St. Lawrence were granted to 
seigneurs on condition that they perform military service, 
bring in settlers, and pay a "quint" to the Crown when the 
seigneury changed hands. The settlers paid a small rental 
(cens et rentes), payable in cash or kind; they had to work 
for the seigneur about three days a year ; and to pay a sum 
(lods et ventes) when the seigniory changed owners. 

There was not much objection to the seigniorial system 
until the United Empire Loyalists flocked into Canada from 
the United States after the Revolutionary War. The 
British authorities then in control gave the newcomers land 
grants in free socage, with no rent to pay, and the French 
habitants felt that they were being rooked in comparison. 
The coming of the Loyalists also raised seigniorial land 
values. Resentment simmered as the system began to pinch. 
An Act of 1825 gave tenants the privilege of commuting 
tenures where there was mutual agreement as to terms. 
However, not much change resulted, and one of the causes 
of the 1837 rebellion was grievances over landownership. 

The habitant could also be levied on, be it noted, for tithes 
by the Church, a right which was freely exercised. In 1854, 
the Seigniorial Tenures Abolition Act was passed, freeing 
the habitants from all their obligations except a fixed rent 
(rente constituee), and they could get possession of their 
land by commuting the rentals in a lump sum payment at 
6 per cent. However, very few of the habitants took 
advantage of the commutation privilege, with the result 
that the government of Premier Godbout recently brought 
in the legislation under which the Province of Quebec comes 
to the rescue of the cultivators and buys out the rights of 
the seigniorial system at an average figure of $13,060. 
Georgeists could have shown a better way. 

Possibly the most momentous matter now before the 
Canadian people is contained in the recommendations of 
the Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, 
called for short by the names of its Chairmen the Rowell- 
Sirois Commission. The federal government convened a 
conference of federal and provincial ministers to deal with 
them, and sittings began in Ottawa on January 14th. In 
convening the conference, the Prime Minister, Mr. Mac- 
kenzie King, intimated that his government thought highly 
of the recommendations of the Commission. 

^Habitants is the name given to the cultivators or farmers who 
are descendants of the French regime. 

There is one recommendation made by the Commission 
which has serious economic implications, and that is the 
following : "The Dominion, while retaining its unlimited 
taxing powers, would recognize an obligation to respect 
the remaining revenue sources of the provinces." The 
adoption of the foregoing means that the federal authority 
would make a gentleman's agreement with the provinces 
whereby it will refrain from levying a federal tax on land 
values. This would be a needless inhibition. The Dominion 
should not bind its future. Both our sister Dominions of 
New Zealand and Australia now include a national land tax 
in their budgets. Also, had the budget proposals of David 
Lloyd George and Phillip Snowden gone into effect, Great 
Britain today would have been financing, in part at least, 
on a national land value tax. The Sirois Commission's 
proposal quoted above is a serious defect in its work, and 
shows lack of familiarity both with basic taxation principles 
and with what other parts of the British Commonwealth 
are doing. 

Coming to provincial sources of revenue, the Commission 
apparently sees no economic objection in continuing to tax 
gasoline gallonage, looking upon this as a natural and normal 
source of income, and anticipates that it will yield more and 
more as years go by and highways are improved. It does 
not recognize or advocate that the abutting land values on 
provincial highways should be taxed instead of the users 
of gasoline ; and by its silence on that point tacitly assumes 
that the private appropriation of publicly produced values 
is in the natural order. 

In dealing with municipal sources of revenue, the Com- 
mission finds that "real estate" is taxed too highly, and 
recommends that the burden on property owners be light- 
ened but not by taking taxes off improvements, a practice 
of which the Commission never seems to have heard. The 
report even ignores the practice in Western Canada of 
exempting improvements in whole or in part. The silence 
of the Commission on this point reveals either its ignorance 
or its bias. The orgies of land speculation are ignored in 
the historical survey, except in the following matter-of-fact 
footnote : "Defaults by derelict towns resulting from mis- 
calculation as to the economic future have, of course, 
occurred in many regions throughout Canadian history." 
Booms, depression and unemployment are regarded as part 
of the scheme of things. Unemployment is visualized by 
the Commission as a "permanent factor," to be mitigated 
as far as possible by unemployment insurance, which has 
just gone into effect in Canada; also by construction of 
public works and other more or less makeshift provisions. 

In pointing out the evils of our taxation system, the Com- 
mission has done a fairly good piece of work; but its 
recommendations do not touch upon, and will not solve, the 
economic ills from which the Dominion suffers. The task 
remains for Georgeists to point out the importance of their 

January February, 1941 



France Returns to the Soil 


1VTARSHAL Petain has said: "The only wealth you 
--^-"- possess is your labor . . . France will become again 
what she should never have ceased to be an essentially 
agricultural nation. Like the giant of mythology, she will 
recover all her strength by contact with the soil." 

To realize this return to the soil, we meet again the 
demagogical measures which because of their appearance 
of justice and patriotism have been tried in every country 
where the leaders have aimed to substitute "governmental 
direction for the play of individual action, and the attempt 
to secure by restriction what can better be secured by free- 
dom" (Progress and Poverty}. Why should these measures, 
which have failed everywhere else to bring practical re- 
sults, have more chance of realization in France? 

Here are some of the regulations that have been imposed 
since the proclamation of the new Constitution: The price 
of wheat is fixed (100 kilograms. 214 francs). The hiring 
of foreign manual labor is limited. Gangs of young people 
are being organized to work on farms. Industrial establish- 
ments must dismiss workers formerly employed in agri- 
culture, in order that they may be returned to the farms. 

In addition to the numerous regulations (there are 700 
decrees!) a vast program of public works has been under- 
taken totalling $350 millions (18,000 million francs). The 
program includes draining and irrigation projects, con- 
struction of railroads, telegraph and telephone lines, 2500 
bridges, the setting up of electric power stations and the 
electrification of the lines Paris-Lyon, Brive-Montauban 
and Bordeaux-Nimes. 

Besides these official decrees, there are many unofficial 
proposals in the severely censored press. The following, 
in Le Progres de I'AIlier, is typical : "There should be no 
difficulty in providing dwellings. A law, declaring every 
house deserted for more than five years and every field 
deserted for more than three years, to be common property 
and assigned to a new proprietor, would take care of the 
situation and would not be objectionable." Paris Soir has 
this to offer: "For the clearing of seven million hectares 
(171/2 million acres) twice the area of the Netherlands 
ploughs and man-power are not always enough. A great 
many fields are arid, and workers should not desert the 
rich fields to take care of the poor ones. The sheep would 
make an efficient and gratuitous agricultural worker. After 
the flock has enriched the soil, the plough can turn it and 
the sower fertilize it. One shepherd and 500 sheep can do 
more for the clearing of the soil than ten ploughmen and 
a trainload of chemicals !" 

We could continue to enumerate all the decrees and pro- 
posals ; but enough has been given to show the spirit that 
prevails. All these measures are well-intentioned and derive 

from the urgent necessity of contending with work stoppage 
and poverty. A glance at the facts will show the urgency 
of present conditions. France, which is considered a rich 
and fertile land, is suffering in a high degree from general 
depopulation, the density being 200 inhabitants to the square 
mile. Her neighbors have a much greater density per square 
mile 360 in Italy, 600 in the Netherlands, 660 in Belgium, 
and 1130 in Western Germany. Especially serious is the 
desertion of the rural districts, as illustrated by the follow- 
ing: A village in the fertile plain of Forez had, in 1896, 
326 houses and 1250 inhabitants; today it has only 210 
houses and 710 inhabitants, the number of cultivators fall- 
ing from 190 to 136. No wonder the traveller meets every- 
where deserted houses and fallow bramble-covered fields ! 
No wonder there are three million square miles to clear! 

The facts are undeniable. And the necessity to contend 
with poverty is also undeniable. But are the proposed 
measures really adequate? Has there been any attempt to 
elucidate the causes of France's present woes? Let us 
point out the objectionable features of some of the decrees 
and proposals. 

When the State fixes the price of wheat, who is paying 
the difference between the fixed price and the world-market 
price? How can the taxpayer, charged with this excess 
over the world-market price, benefit financially? 

When an employer hires a foreign worker, it is either 
because that worker is cheaper than native labor, or because 
he possesses knowledge and capacities unknown to the 
native. In either case, the restriction now imposed upon 
foreign labor brings a rise in the price of commodities, and 
an extra burden on the consumer. The same is true of 
the disbanding of industrial workers and their reemploy- 
ment in former occupations. If the employer needed them, 
he would hire them without official enforcement. If his 
business does not need these workers, then the obligation 
to employ them is a palliative, which will probably result 
in the bankrupting of many enterprises. 

As for the deserted houses and fields what is the proba- 
bility that the newcomer will succeed on the soil where the 
last occupant failed? And certainly the supporter of the 
sheep proposal is quite right when he says that the rich 
fields should not be neglected in order to work on the poor 
fields. (As for this sheep proposal, incidentally just be- 
tween us neither 500 sheep nor one sheep are gratuitous 
in France ! ) 

I have only suggested the flaws in the present measures. 
The chief objection is that none of them goes to the root of 
the difficulty. Before any reform can be attempted, the 
causes must be examined. There are Georgeists who assert 
that speculation and the speculative withdrawal of land is 



January February. 1941 

the sole cause of all the evils. As I see it, the burdensome 
taxes that are now imposed are also causing much of the 

The land prices alone cannot be responsible for the idle- 
ness of the land. The price of agricultural land inside the 
margin of production averages 3000 francs per hectacre 
($30 per acre). Such prices are not so much a hindrance 
as are the unjust tax burdens imposed on the use of land. 
The taxes increase relatively in inverse proportion, to the 
income that is, increasing as the income decreases, thus 
falling much more heavily on the poor than on the rich. 
There is a tax of 5% on the under-assessed value of agri- 
cultural land, but the salutary effects of this are greatly 
offset by the huge burden of indirect taxes. 

Every French estate today is a living illustration of the 
discouraging effects of the present taxation methods on 
production, as emphasized by Henry George : "The manner 
in which equal amounts of taxation may be imposed may 
very differently affect the production of wealth . . . Tax- 
ation which falls upon labor as it is exerted, wealth as it 
is used as capital, land as it is cultivated, will manifestly 
tend to discourage production . . . The present method of 
taxation operates upon exchange like artificial deserts and 
mountains. It operates upon energy, and industry, and 
skill, and thrift, like a fine upon those qualities." Causes 
other than land speculation led" Henry George to formulate 
his remedy for poverty in the following words : "Abolish 
all taxation save that upon land values." 

There are official decrees in France today that graze the 
truth. For instance, in October 1940, the government 
abolished the custom duties on horses, cattle, poultry, meat, 
dairy products, grain, and many vegetables. In November, 
the following was decreed: "Inheritances up to half a 
million francs are totally exempted from taxation, when 
there are more than two minor children to inherit." 

I ask: When the Minister of Finances has acknowledged 
that custom duties are a handicap to the welfare of the 
people, why not suppress all the other duties, which have 
the same effect? If the propriety of abolishing taxes on 
small inheritances is seen, why not also look to the other 
taxes, especially the indirect taxes? 

In 1940, forty-two million consumers paid 43,800 million 
francs in indirect taxes, as compared with the 1937 figures 
of 37,100 millions. The four and a half million taxpayers 
paid 14,000 millions in direct taxes in 1940, as compared 
with the 1937 figure of 37,100 millions. Is the increase 
of 244% in the direct taxes, as compared with the increase 
of only 18% in the indirect taxes, an indication that the 
bad effect of indirect taxation has at last been recognized? 

One thing is certain: A change for the better cannot be 
expected unless the government imposes a tax on land value, 
restoring the real land value, and gradually abolishing all 
other taxes. 

Is It Twilight or Dawn? 


(From Criindskyld, October 1940. Translated by 

Grace Isabel Colbron.) 

1/1 OR those who enjoy their pessimism and embrace their 
*- worries, the time we are now living in is a rather good 
time, and no one should prevent them from being as worried 
as possible provided they keep their pessimism for 
themselves and do not force it on their fellow-mortals. 
But for folks with a more wholesome point of view, it is 
good to look our times right in the eyes, to weigh advan- 
tage and disadvantage, and try to find some little profit in 
the accounting. 

One thing can be looked on as gain, and that is that \vc 
are living in a very interesting epoch an epoch that can 
teach us much. 

Most people can now see what many Georgeists pro- 
phesiedthat the Versailles Treaty was a bad mistake. 
The new boundaries drawn up in Versailles may in some 
cases have been better than the old ones in that they paid 
more heed to language and ethnographical boundaries, and 
the League of Nations was a step in the right direction. 
But the demand of the Entente Powers (especially France), 
that the more than two thousand miles of new borders 
should be tariff borders, tore the Versailles Peace in tatters. 
Tariff is war and war always results from it. This was 
one of the causes why Germany, for instance, and also 
England, were cheated in the disarmament issue ; but it was 
the tariff which the munitions industry knew how to play 
as their trump card. That is how we can best summarize 
the position of today. And what now? 

The war in Western Europe may be looked upon as over, 
for the moment. But can it not extend itself still further 
towards the West ? Most certainly. There is space enough 
for a Thirty- Years' War for the sovereignty of the Atlantic 
Ocean, and still further but that is probably too big a 
mouthful for the war industries. And the people them- 
selves may become weary of the war. The strongest prob- 
ability is that the war will cease in a relatively near future. 
And then we'll have "peace" ! Nothing more ? 

"Peace is not the best thing one could wish for." We 
should not struggle merely to keep peace. There's peace 
in the churchyard, the peace of the grave. Life cannot be 
supported on peace alone. The opposite of war is not 
merely peace, but co-operation, just as helping one another 
is the opposite to killing one other. Not just peace, but 
free trade, is the true opposite of war. Down with the 
barriers, then which means, down with the tariff! 

What are the chances? 

After France's collapse the government of Marshal 
Petain sent out the word : "France's recovery will come 

January February, 1941 



through a new economic system in commerce and agricul- 
ture, and industry shall learn to keep itself up by the 
quality of its production." In other words ; away with 
Protection . . . institute free economy! 

And Germany? Alfred Rosenberg, on July 10th, called 
together the foreign press to give them a glimpse of 
Germany's future economic policy. Rosenberg pictured a 
Europe of independent States but without customs fron- 
tiers ! And as there was some doubt later as to what ft*, 
really had said, two important dailies, the Berliner Bocrsen- 
zcihtHy on July 13th, and the Volkischcr Bcobachter on July 
16th, carried long commentaries on Rosenberg's speech and 
ended with the following words, dealing especially with 
the North ; "Germany does not intend to pull down the 
Northern States, whose rich cultural wealth and historical 
tradition are perhaps nowhere in the world better known 
than in Germany. Living and working together, that is 
Germany's aim, not destruction of historical values." 

But how much understanding has modern Germany 
about free trade? That is another question. Opinions 
differ in Germany, differ widely. Recently, Germany's 
plans for a future political ordering of German agriculture 
were announced. The Government seems to see clearly 
regarding the danger of the constant capitalization of 
ground rents and its attendant increase of price and con- 
sequent indebtedness of land property. But instead of 
meeting this problem with an effective land valuation tax, 
they are merely instituting any number of new regulations, 
old regulations and the like regulations that are the oppo- 
site of free trade. 

But that is Germany's concern. But they must let the 
rest of us practise free trade. 

It is high time that we gather our forces for a forward 
push. We had all the necessary conditions for making 
Denmark Europe's free port to our own advantage and 
as an instructive example to other countries. But we did 
not do it. Much might have looked better for us, but the 
majority willed it otherwise. Now, we've got our "cold 
shower." Let us hope that it will teach us to open our 
eyes and come together for a new strong policy. 

What Lloyd George said in the House of Commons last 
May was quite true that England and France had only 
themselves to thank for Hitler's hard hand over them. And 
we can say that we have only ourselves to thank for much 
in our public policies. 

Much has happened this year which may portend a new 
healthy popular uprising. We have seen the five demo- 
cratic parties (in Denmark) unite in a concerted opposi- 
tion to reaction. We have seen employers and workers 
unite to avoid future wages disputes. That is an important 
step! And many things point to a new awakening of 
national life. There were the 740,000 people who met on 
September 1st to sing the Grundtvig song. That could not 

have happened a year ago ! And the feeling of fellowship 
that lay over the dedication of the Grundtvig Church on 
September 8th Grundlvig's Church the great work of a 
faithful disciple of Henry George, Architect Jensen Klint 
... a landmark to the talent of our day. And on the latest 
occasion, September 26th, our King's 70th birthday, the 
wave of homage and fidelity that rolled out toward the 
King had an objective higher than the King's person. It 
was the cry of a people to Heaven, the cry of a strongly 
felt national unity. "We are Danes and we will always 
be Danes." 

\Yill the Denmark of Valdemar's day the Denmark of 
free trade and of the great land reformers blossom again 
in a new national Spring towards the aim of The Earth 
for the People? 

Does our day mean Twilight or Dawn? 

It is Dawn! 


We are informed by Mr. Arthur Madsen, editor of Land 
& Liberty, of the British Postmaster-General's announce- 
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earlier periods. 

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replies, they should communicate again. 

Land & Liberty is published regularly, month by month, 
and any of its readers missing any copy should write at 
once to Land & Liberty. 

Legislative Framework 

Readers will note in this issue a special supplement (Sec- 
tion 2), "A Legislative Framework for the Philosophy of 
Henry George." This work is the result of long and care- 
ful research, and we would earnestly suggest its study by our 
readers. It would be highly desirable to convey the plan 
to others, particularly to legislators and governmental of- 
ficers. If any further information is desired, communicate 
with the American Association for Scientific Taxation, care 

FREE COPY of LAND AND FREEDOM is an invitation 
to become a subscriber. 



January February, 1941 

Signs of Progress 


Robert Schalkenbach Foundation 


We were pleased with the good reception given our 1941 
calendar. Almost everyone liked it and stories of its effect- 
iveness are still coming in. One friend reported the other 
day that a minister to whom she gave a calendar chose one 
of its quotations as the text of his Sunday sermon. Another 
person came in to purchase one after seeing it hanging in 
the executive office of a well-known organization. A 
prominent New Jersey manufacturer liked it so well that 
he purchased a quantity and sent them out to customers 
and business associates. Thus, a little over a thousand 
calendars have been distributed. We still have a few left 
and shall be glad of any help we can get in putting these 
into circulation. 

Four hundred and fifty books went out as a result of our 
campaign to have Henry George's books given as Christmas 
presents. This is work in which all Georgeists can par- 
ticipate to some degree, and we have ample testimony as to 
its effectiveness. To cite one of the innumerable cases : 
The other day an order came for a full set of books from 
a man who had been given a Henry George book in 1939. 
He said, in an accompanying letter, "I intend to make a 
full study of the interesting philosophy to which my friend 
so kindly introduced me." 

We also want to thank the scores of friends who remem- 
bered the Foundation with greeting cards and letters this 
Christmas season. From far and near these greetings came, 
some from Australia, some from embattled London, and one 
from South Africa. 

You will be interested to know that just this week we 
received a long letter from Mr. Arthur Madsen of the 
Henry George Foundation of Great Britain. Mr. Madsen 
tells us that the Foundation is carrying on as usual, with all 
members of the staff on the job every day. He and Mrs. 
Madsen have gone to Scotland for a few months so that 
he may complete some important work without interruption. 

Last autumn we experimented with a new piece of adver- 
tising literature designed to help our bookdealers sell "Prog- 
ress and Poverty." The cover of this attractive booklet 
asks the provocative question, "How High is Your E. I. 
Q?" ("Economics Intelligence Quotient," in case you have 
not guessed it.) Taking its cue from the popular quiz 
programs which come to us nightly over the air, our booklet 
challenges the reader with ten questions on economics start- 
ing with, "Where do wages come from," and leading up to 

the more controversial question, "Can combinations of 
workmen increase the general level of wages?" The answers 
to these questions are also given in the booklet so that the 
reader may test his knowledge and then grade his own 
intelligence regarding economics. The intention is that he 
will thus become so interested in Henry George's point of 
view that he will hurry back to the store to buy the book. 
Each bookdealer who agrees to let the booklet work for him 
is sent a supply with his name and address printed inside. 
Several repeat orders received in the last two weeks encour- 
age us lo believe that the booklet is accomplishing its pur- 
pose. If you would like to see this booklet, send us a penny 
post-card and we will put one in the mail for you. 

Princeton University placed an order this week for a 
quantity of "Progress and Poverty-," which is required 
reading in their economics course. As one of the faculty 
once told us, "A man hasn't much chance of graduating 
from Princeton without knowing something about Henry 
George." It is also interesting to recall that the death mask 
of Henry George, cast in bronze, rests in Princeton's famous 
collection of death masks of the World's Great. This mask 
was unveiled by Mrs. dc Mille in impressive ceremonies a 
few years ago. 

Considerable interest has been manifested in Franz 
Oppenheimer's famous book, "The State," but it was onlj 
recently that we discovered that a few hundred copies of 
this classic are still available. The organic history of the 
State has been rendered dull by most learned accounts of 
it and, in sharp contrast, Dr. Oppenheimer's story is fasci- 
nating reading from start to finish. Many printings of this 
book have been made in this country, for its important 
information, written in easily readable style, has made it 
highly acceptable to American readers. The edition we have 
access to is 75c a copy, bound in cloth. 

Much of our time is being devoted to the normal schools 
throughout the country. Our test campaign, conducted last 
autumn, revealed this group as more responsive than the 
average list. The value of reaching these budding teachers 
cannot be exaggerated, for if they can be made to compre- 
hend the importance of Henry George in the fields of eco- 
nomics and philosophy, that influence may eventually be 
demonstrated in the classrooms of our public and high 

Henry George School of Social Science 


Commencement exercises for the 700 Fall term gradu- 
ates were held at the Engineers Auditorium, January 13. 

Januarys-February, 1941 



In ;alciitioa to student speakers, and an address by Mr. 
Frank Chodorov, Director, the program included these novel 
features: A quiz contest on "Georgiana"; a skit, "Baby 
Snooks and the Law of Rent," written by Edwin Ross, and 
enacted by Mr. Ross and Miss Dorothy Sara; a demon- 
stration of a unique mechanical contrivance elucidating the 
Law of Rent, invented and built by Mr. Emanuel Ebner; 
and a sale of Henry George School pins, introduced by an 
auction of the first pin, with Mr. Arthur Landry as auction- 
eer. About 750 attended this occasion. Mr. Otto K. Dorn 
was chairman. 

The new semester opened the week of January 27, with 
a total enrollment, to date, of 1600. Of these, 1100 are 
taking the basic course in Fundamental Economics, includ- 
ing 100 high school students, and 500 have enrolled for the 
various advanced courses. The Leaflet Distribution Com- 
mittee is in no small degree responsible for this figure. The 
basic course has been changed from a ten-week to a fifteen- 
week course. On this new schedule, "Protection or Free 
Trade" will consume the latter five weeks, the first ten 
weeks being taken up with "Progress and Poverty," as be- 

Two important lecture courses have been added to the 
curriculum. One is on the "Principles of Assessing," a 
series of seven weekly lectures which began Tuesday, 
January 14. This series is conducted by Mr. John St. George 
of the New York City Tax Department. The course pro- 
vides a much-needed familiarity with the fiscal (funda- 
mentals of taxation, with special reference to the system and 
methods employed by the New York City Department of 
Taxes. This course has been well attended. The second 
lecture course is on "The Influence of Henry George on 
Economics," a series of five weekly lectures beginning 
January 31, and conducted by Mr. Morris Forkosch. 

The Fall term elective advanced courses have drawn to 
a close, with Mr. Michael Bernstein's course on "Democracy 
versus Socialism" taking the lead in popularity. In this 
course, Mr. Bernstein uses Max Hirsch's celebrated book 
which gives the course its name. Other courses are : Social 
Philosophy, based upon Dr. George R. Geiger's "The Phil- 
osophy of Henry George,": Public Speaking; Basic Prin- 
ciples of Composition ; Formal Logic. Robert Clancy has 
completed a ten- week course on the Life and Teachings of 
Oscar H. Geiger, the Founder and first Director of the 
Henry George School of Social Science. In this course, 
the background of the School is discussed. Geiger's phi- 
losophy of life is also studied. His philosophy, while based 
upon Henry George, also presents many original features, 
such as his views on Natural Law, the Unity of Creation, 
and Individual Ethics. 


The largest Winter term in the history of the Chicago 
Henry George School opened the week of January 13 with 
33 classes in "Progress and Poverty," and 16 advanced 
classes. The total enrollment was nearly 500. In addition, 
over 300 inquiries concerning the correspondence course 
were received. The campaign for students was marked by 
the distribution of 40,000 announcements, 2000 posters, and 
news releases which appeared in (30 metropolitan and neigh- 
borhood or suburban papers. Forty teachers are manning 
the new classes, seven doing double duty, and one triple 

In other ways the Chicago School is progressing. A 
library has been started, augmented by a donation of many 
Georgeist books and a bust of Henry George. The Chicago 
Speakers Bureau, well past the "wing-testing" stage, is 
increasing its engagements. "America's Forgotten Line of 
Defense" is proving a talk of particularly popular appeal. 
Mr. Francis Neilson is sponsoring a letter contest open to 
recent graduates of the Chicago School. 

And so the Windy City moves apace. 

The School of Democracy 

Mr. Harry J. Haase, who is engaged in a Georgeist educa- 
tional program in the School of Democracy, has submitted 
a four-point proposal for a Georgeist course of action, 
which he calls "A Four- Year Plan". The plan follows: 

1 That we spend the next three years educating utiliz- 
ing all our resources to imbue every person we can reach 
with the philosophy of freedom. 

2 That, having obtained an individual's acceptance of 
the Georgeist philosophy of freedom, we see to it that no 
individual drops out of the struggle of "freedom through 

3 That we hold a convention at the end of the third year 
of this program, and adopt a platform of freedom to be sub- 
mitted to every candidate for a major state or national of- 
fice (all parties). 

4 That we follow up each and every one of these can- 
didates, and demand that he take a stand on our platform 
for or against. 

Suggestion No. 1 is offered to all schools, organizations 
and groups teaching the collection of economic rent as the 
rc-medy for society's ills, regardless of method, text or teach- 
er. It is also intended for those who educate through 
lectures, publications, radio talks, or any other method. 

Point No. 2 means that some method of utilizing the en- 
ergy of everyone who accepts the philosophy of freedom 
should be found. The "method" should be broad enough to 
take consideration of every individual. There should be 
provision for those who want to teach formally in the class- 
room ; for those who want to carry the message "outside" ; 



January February, 1941 

for those who want to organize. In short, we should at- 
tempt to use everybody's talents in a way most satisfactory 
to the individual. 

On point No. 3 All who have been active in the work 
of spreading knowledge of the true basis of freedom ought 
to submit suggestions for the platform. The convention 
might be held at the time of the Annual Henry George Con- 
gress, and take up an additional session. 

The fourth step can be taken whenever and wherever 
candidates speak in public. It can be done by personal calls, 
through the mails, or in the columns of the press. 

Instead of forming a third party and trying to fight the 
strong political machines, the above program will enable 
us to utilize the strong parties to accomplish our purpose. 
It will make it possible for the people to demand of the 
politicians what they want, instead of supinely accepting a 
choice between party-made variations of our present un- 
sound system. It will make it possible for the people to 
have a real choice at the polls for the first time in our na- 
tional history. 

The author of the above program would be interested in 
receiving comments on his ideas. Address Harry J. Haase, 
the School of Democracy, 1165 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 

American Alliance to Advance Freedom 

A group of Georgeists have been meeting during the 
past few weeks for the purpose of launching an organiza- 
tion that will bring Henry George's proposals to the fore- 
front "in the councils of world affairs." Calling itself the 
American Alliance to Advance Freedom (with the subtitle, 
"By Promoting the Principle of Natural Economic 
Rights"), this organization plans to issue pamphlets, con- 
duct current events forums, and engage in related activities. 
The following aims have been formulated: 1 To awaken 
interest among non-Georgeists in the Georgeist doctrines, 
so that many whose curiosity is thus aroused will seek for- 
mal instruction. 2 To crystallize Georgeism in terms of 
specific goals in order to offer concrete objectives for men 
and women seeking a way out of the present social and eco- 
nomic crisis. 3 To bring the issue of Georgeism before 
legislative bodies throughout the country in order that the 
principles of equal right to the use of land and free trade 
will be adopted as the basis for making the coming peace a 
permanent and a just one. 

The Chairman of the Alliance is Sidney J. Abelson, the 
Secretary is Elbert Josefson, and the Financial Secretary, 
Sara Wald. The Provisional Committee consists of Lloyd 
Buchman, Miles Shefferman, Roberty Clancy, Gilbert M. 
Tucker, Erna L. Nash, and Malcolm R. White. 

The Alliance is issuing a "Proposal for Georgeist Action 
Now," to be submitted to followers ojf Henry George. 
Herewith are selected passages: 

"What stands out in the life of Henry George, in his life 
as an author and his life as an active man of affairs, is his 
belief in immedate social reform and his faith that vigorous, 
zealous action could make that reform a reality. 

"We side with Henry George in his belief and in this vi- 

"The cry for bread and peace issues from the throats of 
nearly two billion human beings. Who can answer this 

"So-called 'capitalism' (a misnomer for our monopoly 
system), Socialism, Communism, Nazism, Fascism, each in 
turn had its day and failed. There is no answer to be found 
in any of these. 

"With each passing day the cry becomes deeper and more 
desperate. The organism we call society does not and can- 
not stand still. 

"We believe that the doctrines of Henry George answer 
this call for a new way of life that will bring peace and 
prosperity through justice. We believe that the two billion 
human beings now inhabiting this planet, however indifferent 
they might have been to us before the various "isms" were 
tried and found wanting, are now hungry for the very doc- 
trines we have to offer, and that they will listen to us if we 
speak up. 

"We believe that our time, the time of a Geori/eis! emer- 
gence into the councils of world affairs, is at liand." 

The Alliance has also issued a "Declaration of Principles." 
The complete Proposal, the Declaration, application for 
membership, or any other information, may be obtained by : 
writing to the American Alliance to Advance Freedom, 22 
West 48th Street, Suite 505, New York, N. Y. 

Women's Single Tax Club of Washington 


The December and January meetings of the Club have 
been devoted to ways and means of promulgating the Single 
Tax gospel, as well as to the regular business of the Club. 

At the meeting held December 2, the general subject for 
discussion was education, based upon the book being studied 
by the Washington Federation of Women's Clubs, entitled 
"The Purpose of Education in American Democracy," com- 
piled by the Educational Policies Commission. The Fed- 
eration speakers of the evening were: Mrs. Arthur C. Wat- 
kins, Chairman, Department of Education; Mrs. Charles 
H. Pierce, Vice Chairman, Department of Education; and ; 
Miss Mary E. Downey, Chairman, Committee on Public j 
Safety. Among the other speakers was Mr. Matthew Ka- 
mage, a school teacher of many years' experience, who gave 
examples of the methods used by him to make school 
courses interesting; he explained that the secret of learning 
was learning how to learn. Mrs. Walter N. Campbell spoke j 
on the true purpose of teaching which she considered to 

January February, 1941 



be enabling people to think clearly for themselves, mathe- 
matical training being particularly useful to gain this end. 
After some discussion it was suggested that the Washing- 
ton Federation of Women's Clubs take up the study of 
"Progress and Poverty," after completing the present work. 
At the January meeting, the speaker was Mrs. Barbara 
Grosser Sweeney, who gave an interesting and instructive 
talk on organization and also on methods of individual work- 
in spreading the Single Tax gospel. In response to the 
question as to why Mr. Robert Grosser was the only George- 
ist left in Congress, some of the methods used to defeat our 
other Representatives were explained. Mr. Walter I. Swan- 
ton presented an interesting account of the Single Tax, 
where it is advocated and where applied. 

Great Britain 

At its quarterly meeting, toward the close of 1940, the 
United Committee for the Taxation of Land Values, made 
plans for organizing its work for 1941. It is interesting to 
note that the scope of activities for the coming year are not 
to be less than it has been during 1940. The maintenance 
of the Committee's journal, Land & Liberty, is provided for, 
monthly, at its present number of pages (12), and for a 
surplus supply available for propaganda uses. Distribution 
of the journal has already given evidence that it is an ef- 
fective means of propaganda. 

At the headquarters of the Committee and of Land & 
Liberty, in London, is also housed an international George- 
ist body known as the International Union for Land Value 
Taxation and Free Trade. There are members of this Un- 
ion in every part of the globe. At this time particularly, 
such an organization, devoted to the building up of inter- 
national good will among workers in the Georgeist cause, 
is most valuable. Membership is open to all who embrace the 
Georgeist doctrines. The small sum of $2.00 will bring a 
year's membership in the International Union and a year's 
subscription to Land & Liberty. (Larger donations are, of 
course, welcome.) Application for membership may be 
obtained by addressing the United Committee for the Tax- 
ation of Land Values, 34 Knightrider Street, St. Paul's, 
London, England. 

St. Paul's, incidentally, is in the heart of London, where 
extensive bombing raids have been carried out by the en- 
emy. It is gratifying to report, however, that the office of 
the United Committee has escaped damage, even during the 
severe City of London fires of December 29th. The quality 
of Land & Liberty, too, has remained unimpaired. The 
January 1941 issue is especially interesting. It carries many 
informative accounts of the current situation in Britain as 
related to the Georgeist proposal. 

There is also the first installment of an article on the land 
question in Germany, by Bruno Heilig, entitled, "The Land 
Question Germany's Dominating Factor." Mr. Heilig was 

the Balkan correspondent of the Berlin Vossische Zeitung, 
1920-1928. He was expelled from Hungary for his criti- 
cism of the landowners' reactionary system. In his Land 
& Liberty article, Mr. Heilig asserts that Henry George's 
"How Modern Civilization May Decline," if written in the 
present tense, would be a description of Germany today. 
He traces land speculation as the chief cause of Germany's 
woes which led to the rise of Hitler. During the post-war 
reconstruction days, "land speculators had a fantastic time, 
some doubling and trebling their fortunes overnight. While 
the common people toiled feverishly and proudly to build 
up the new Germany that should be the world's most ad- 
vanced community, money poured into the pockets of those 
who gambled in land values . . . The boom had lasted some 
seven years, and it ended with seven million men and w- 
men, one-third of the wage-earning people, rendered un- 
employed, and the middle class as a recognizable section 
swept away." 

January 20 

HHHIS date, even prior to 1941, is memorable in history. 
It is peculiarly the date of both life and death with 
reference to demcoracy as a mode of government. For it 
was January 20, in the year 1265, which brought to life the 
first English Parliament. Simon de Montfort, Earl of 
Leicester, after overthrowing Henry III, promulgated a 
Constitution, and called forth representatives from shires 
and boroughs to meet in Westminster Palace. Then and 
there were effected the rudimentary beginnings of the pres- 
ent-day bicameral Parliament in England. 

Again on this date, in the year 1793, Louis XVI listened 
in silence to the reading of his death sentence. The guillotine 
thus marked the end of the throne of the Bourbons and the 
birth of a French democracy. 

On this very same day, in the year 1941, of controversial 
significance to democracy, Franklin D. Roosevelt was in- 
augurated as the first third-term President of the United 
States of America. Thus was a tradition terminated which 
had successfully withstood attack since the birth of the 
American Republic. 

It is intriguing to suppose that January 20 was chosen as 
Inaugural Day because of its historic significance. But this 
is not the case the date was arrived at by a compromise. 
When the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution was 
proposed in Congress, January 15 was the date fixed by the 
House of Representatives. The Senate voted for January 
24. The Committees of both Houses met to adjust their 
differences, and by the simple expedient of splitting the 
dates, arrived at January 20 as Inauguration Day. 

In the light of democracy's historic events, no more sig- 
nificant date could have been selected. 



January February. 1941 

The Interest Question 

An Australian Comment 

By A. G. HUIE 

FOR years the wrangling over interest has had a hamstringing 
effect upon efforts to spread a knowledge of Henry George's 
principles among the people. It is all the more difficult to understand 
Mr. Gaston Haxo's attitude following his admissions in the open- 
ing paragraphs of his article, "A Theory of Interest", in the July- 
August 1940 issue of LAND AMI KRKEIJOM. 

He admits (i) that the interest question has been the subject of 
discussion for many centuries without reaching agreement; and (2) 
that today interest is more firmly established than ever. It is under 
these conditions that he adds to the dissension among those who 
feel that land rent should be shared by the people and that taxes 
upon labor should be abolished. 

A man may be quite a good George propagandist but someone 
whispers to him that George was wrong on the interest question. 
It is plausibly put up that there are other unearned increments 
apart from those arising in land. So a promising man goes astray, 
no good to the cause, only a faultfinding critic, and really helping 
the land monopoly which he claims to oppose. 

It seems to me that the attack upon George's views upon interest 
is really based upon Marx's confusion of land with capital. No 
man ever did the workers of the world greater disservice than Karl 
Marx. He gave them a wrong outlook. Unless you have a clear 
understanding of (i) what constitutes the resources of nature pro- 
vided free for the use of men, called in economic terms "land", and 
(2) what is capital, i.e., wealth used to aid production, you are liable 
to go astray on the question of interest. 

Anyone possessing a sense of justice recognizes that labor is en- 
titled to all that it produces. In order that it may do so, equal 
right of access to the resources of nature is the first essential. The 
second is that the earnings of labor shall not be subject to any deduc- 
tions because of taxes imposed by Governments or through special 
privileges granted to vested interests. 

Now Mr. Haxo appears to have failed to understand the logical 
effect of putting George's proposals into practice. The sources of 
unearned incomes would be dried up. His assumption, therefore, 
that a man and his children after him indefinitely could live without 
working is ill-founded. The income that they get comes from the 
use of land in some form which is now held to return ground rent 
to the owner. Such conditions would not exist with ground rent as 
the natural revenue of society. The capital associated with such 
land has but a limited life. 

Mr. Haxo asserts that the premise that nature gives an increase 
to capital apart from the return to labor is false. Very well, then, 
what would be the return to labor without the use of capital? Is 
it not clear that the use of capital results in an economic advantage 
to labor? If that advantage is to be enjoyed only by the labor that 
uses the capital, is it not at the expense of the labor that produces 
the capital? 

The object of production is the satisfaction of human wants. 
The element of time explains why there is an increase due to 
capital apart from labor. Capital rightly understood is always a 
labor product. If the maker of any form of capital uses it himself 
he enjoys the economic advantages which its use enables him to 
gain. If he uses capital that another's labor has produced he can 
only enjoy the economic advantages due to its use at the expense of 
the labor producing the capital unless he pays interest. 

Labor does not produce capital for the sake of allowing other 
labor to be enriched. If that were so then the mainspring of hu- 

man action, that men seek to gratify their desires with the least 
exertion, is also false and economic science rests on a foundation 
of sand. 

That Mr. Haxo has failed to appreciate the effects of applying 
George's principles is seen where he asserts that the forces of na- 
ture outside man himself which increase the productiveness of 
labor "will accrue, not to capital or labor, but to monopoly in the 
form of extraordinary profits or in the form of rent," adding, 
"if this principle is economically sound." 

Yes, "if." But there would be no extraordinary profits or rents 
to monopolists with George's principles in force so that both pro- 
ducers and consumers would share the economic advantages of 
labor exerted in production, whether that labor was in the accumu- 
lated form of capital or in the working form of labor. 

After quoting the definition of capital Mr. Haxo proceeds to ask 
a question : "We are confronted with the task of determining how 
much of the produce shall go to capital in interest and how much 
shall go to labor in wages. Justice demands that each shall receive 
what it produces, but what has capital produced?" If there were no 
increase accruing from the use of capital, the answer would lie, that 
capital should receive nothing. The assumption, however, is an 

Production is carried on by labor, but labor is in two forms, 
passive in the shape of capital and active in the shape of human 
effort. If the former had no productive power, as asserted, the 
latter could do without it. Any practical man knows that the 
passive form of labor, which we call capital, confers upon the 
user economic advantages in addition to those due to the active 
form of human exertion. For that reason men are willing to pay 
interest, because paying it means more to them than they could 
earn without paying it. 

For the same reason men are willing to pay rent for land above 
the margin of production. As Patrick Edward Dove put it, "The land 
produces, according to the law of the Creator, more than the value 
of the labor expended on it and on this account men are willing to 
pay a rent for land." 

In the same way men are willing to pay for the use of capital 
because of the increase in results to them. Interest then, is as in- 
evitable and unavoidable as rent. All that we can do is to see that 
those who are rightly entitled to both interest and rent shall receive 

The attitude of Mr. Haxo towards capital is of the hair-splitting 
type, which is of no value if we are to regard George's proposals 
as practical and capable of realization. He denies that capital is a 
factor of production but asserts that it is an instrumentality of 
labor quite a fine distinction. He is at pains to assert that capital 
itself produces nothing, and is not entitled to any part of the product. 
If that is so, then labor could do without it. The practical man 
knows better. He is not deceived by the finesse of the hair-splitter. 

Let me give an example. A party of prospectors discover a good 
mineral deposit. To develop it so that they can get wages out of it, 
capital is a vital necessity. They have not got the capital. Without 
it they are powerless and the riches in the land are no good to them 
or anyone else. 

Hut other men have the necessary capital which labor had pro- 
duced. So a bargain is struck. Capital is provided, the mine is 
developed, and it becomes profitable to the labor that works it, 
to the labor that has provided the capital and to the community 

But Mr. Haxo asks, What has this thing called capital produced? 
He says that it "has no productive power" and that of "itself pro- 
duces nothing". All the natural riches of the earth produce no- 
thing, in the same sense, until labor is applied. The earth is as 

January February, 1941 



inanimate as "this thing called capital" until man puts forth his 
hand his labor power to gather fruits, catch fish, snare animals, 
or do anything else towards satisfying even primitive needs. 

If we Georgeists are to accomplish anything worthwhile we 
must be practical instead of being merely doctrinaires. In putting for- 
ward his proposals, Henry George was practical. He recognized 
that rent was an inevitable payment where competition set up a 
demand for the opportunity to use land. Rent, therefore, should be 
shared by the people through being used to provide public works 
and services. He also recognized that capital was essential in the 
production and exchange of wealth. He did not refer to it con- 
temptuously as "this thing called capital" and he did not deny that it 
was a factor in production. He saw that there was an increase in 
wealth production because of its use apart from rent to land and 
wages to labor, and that payment because of that increase was both 
just and inevitable. What that interest will be is determined in the 
same way as rent for the right to use land and wages to the laborer 
by the natural law of competition. 

In his efforts to justify his attitude Mr. Haxo appears to me to 
reach the limit of absurdity. He says that it is just as natural 
for a laborer to have capital to work with as it is for a buffalo to 
have horns or for a tiger to have claws. The horns of a buffalo 
and the claws of a tiger are essential parts of those animals. A 
man's finger nails are also parts of a man. Capital is not part 
of a man. It has to be produced by the application of man's labor 
power to the raw materials of the carlh. To the extent that a man 
produces tools, for example, they arc his and he is entitled to 
the economic advantages which they enable him to gain. 

That is clear, but the point at issue is where others produce the 
tools that a man needs to use. Suppose a man buys tools or a 
machine or any other article properly defined by George as capital. 
What is he paying for? Not merely for the labor of making it but 
rent and interest also. Under present conditions all parties also 
pay taxes in addition. 

But instead of paying the interest when he buys the goods he 
acquires their use on loan. There are no horns or claws about that. 
He gets the economic advantages due to the use of the capital he 
has borrowed, produced by other labor and he pays for it. If he 
did not pay for it he would be loafing on the labor that produced 
that capital. 

Proceeding to discuss the nature of interest Mr. Haxo indulges 
in some more hair-splitting in his efforts to show that land and 
labor only should be considered in the distribution of wealth. Let 
it be understood that I am not an advocate of the interests of capi- 
tal. I simply recognize inescapable facts. 

Anyone using his own capital reaps such economic advantage as 
it is capable of yielding. Mr. Haxo asserts that the producer who 
uses his own capital is not concerned as to the amount of that ad- 
vantage. Nevertheless, he would be seriously concerned if he did 
not get it. 

It is only when the capital is borrowed that obection is raised to 
the payment of interest. That is a common objection held by so- 
cialists, communists and an assortment of money cranks. 

No doubt borrowing is greatly promoted by the private owner- 
ship of land, for it severely restricts labor's field of operations and 
undoubtedly prevents many men from accumulating and using their 
own capital. That, however, has no bearing upon the inevitable 
payment of interest. 

It is an effect of that basic monopoly of the earth which is the 
foundation source of economic evils. The original and primary 
factors of production are land and labor. In modern production, 
however, there arises the need for an additional force which is in- 
dispensable if land is to be made to yield what labor needs. 

Trying to dismiss it with contempt as "this thing called capital" 
and denying that it is a factor in modern production shows failure 
to face practical realities and failure to concentrate on eliminating 
the primary evil of monopoly of natural resources which has led to 
so much borrowing of capital when under natural conditions it 
would be reduced to a minimum. 

It is asserted "those who need capital goods buy them from 
those who produce them and whose return is therefore wages and 
not interest." What of the business man who carries on so as to 
avoid insolvency and prices his goods so as to cover wages? It is 
a recognized principle of business that you must have a return up- 
on the capital utilized in order to succeed. The purchaser of the 
printing plant, therefore, pays interest when he buys it and if he 
is to successfully carry on business he must include it in the prices 
he charges for his printing. 

We come now to the assertion that it is money or its equivalent 
purchasing power that is borrowed. It is followed by this re- 
markable statement, "If actual capital were borrowed we would 
have an independent rate of interest for each form of capital." 
The man who was growing wheat, for example, would have to pay 
a different rate of interest for the capital he had to borrow than 
the man who was keeping sheep or another who was making mach- 
inery. It is not really money that is borrowed, but wealth express- 
ed in money terms. For if the wealth were not in existence a loan 
would be impossible. 

This attempt to make a distinction between the borrowing of 
ivcaith and wealth expressed in money terms is one of the com- 
monest and most fallacious errors of our time. It leads to many 
fantastic and impractical proposals put forward by men who fail to 
go down to the root causes of social injustice. They see the ef- 
fects, which they deplore, and mistaking money and currency for 
wealth, propose to manipulate them to make conditions better. 

So Mr. Haxo reaches the conclusion that the return for money 
lending interest is an unearned increment. That, however, is 
based upon the fallacy that it is money that is borrowed not wealth 
that the money represents. Let us again try to get back to practical 
realities. A man is acquiring a shop or a small factory. He has 
part of the means to pay for it, say half, which he is willing to pay 
down. He must then get a loan upon such terms as may be agreed 
upon. It is paid over in money by an individual, a firm, or a bank. 

But how does the lender find himself in a position to make that 
loan? Only because of wealth produced and accumulated. What 
he does is to transfer the right to use it expressed in money terms. 
It is not money that the borrower wants and pays interest for, but 
the right to use a certain amount of wealth belonging to others. 

Now we come to the conclusion which in my opinion disposes of 
the attack made upon George's explanation of the cause of interest. 
Asking the question, is interest equitable, Mr. Haxo answers it in 
these words: "This depends on whether we are considering inter- 
est as a private business transaction or as an institution. The for- 
mer is equitable because it is a contract freely entered into by two 
parties". Then he goes on to say that the latter is inequitable be- 
cause it is forced upon the people as a result of social and economic 
injustice. Thus we have a clear admission that where interest pay- 
ments are said to be inequitable it is an effect, not a cause, of so- 
cial injustice. 

So that instead of arguing about interest, the real work is to 
arouse the people as to the primary causes of poverty in a world 
where labor is becoming more efficient and wealth is increasing. 

The distinction between interest as a private transaction and as 
an institution seems to me to be purely artificial. It is true that pub- 
lic debts would tend to disappear and that much borrowing would 
(Continued on page 34) 



January February, 1941 



"The Tragedy of Europe," by Francis Neilson. C. C. Nelson, Apple- 
ton, Wise., 1940. 680 pp. Limited first edition, $10.00. 

From time immemorial, war has hung about the world like the 
dead albatross on the back of the Ancient Mariner, and in "The 
Tragedy of Europe," Francis Neilson has undertaken the super- 
human task of dissecting its causes and placing the blame for ihe 
present conflict. 

Few writers are as well equipped for the job at hand. From a 
ring-side scat in the House of Commons he witnessed the diplomatic 
maneuvers which ushered in World War No. I. What he saw he 
published in a scathing indictment entitled, "How Diplomats Make 
\\'ar.'' Five large printings of this book have been made and 
foreign translations have carried it into Germany, France and 
Sweden. In the intervening years Mr. Neilson has continued his 
sMidy of international politics, and the present volume is the fruit 
of that consecration. To it, and to the indomitable courage with 
which he has expressed his views, Robert M. Hutchins, President 
of the University of Chicago pays tribute in his introduction to this 

remarkable book. 

In a day-by-day commentary on military, diplomatic and political 
events from September 1939 to the invasion of Greece in the follow- 
ing year, the author has traced the cataclysm of affairs in Europe 
and their effect in the United States. 

Mr. Neilson recognizes that the object of war is territorial 
aggrandizement, but his purpose in this book is primarily that of 
finding out to whom the guilt of making war belongs. Quoting 
The Times (London) of 1912, he says: 

"The answer is to be found in the chancelleries of Europe, among 
the men who have too long played with human lives as pawns in a 
game of chess, who have become so emeshed in formulas and the 
jargon of diplomacy that they have ceased to be conscious of the 
poignant realities with which they trifle. . ." 

Long before Munich, Mr. Neilson recognized the superior strength 
of Germany. Nor was he ever deluded with the idea that once his 
bluff was called Hitler would collapse like a pricked balloon. He 
believes that the old system of the balance of power will have to 
go, and Great Britain and France must realize and express a will- 
ingness to become partners with the other states in a new European 

It is not in Hitler, but in Stalin, that Mr. Neilson discerns the real 
world menace. He says, "The exhaustless energy of Stalin has 
been spent in raising an illiterate thief and cut-throat to an eminence 
Ivan the Terrible would have hesitated to occupy. . . It is because 
our interventionists have their binoculars fixed upon the wrong man 
that they are oblivious to the greatest menace of all ; the one which 
is watching and waiting for the moment to leap the menace that 
lies between the Dniester and the Urals." 

Mr. Neilson does not believe the defeat of Britain would be 
followed by an invasion of this Continent within this generation. 
Further than that he has wisely refrained from making any pre- 
diction. His opinion is that a victorious Hitler would be far too 
occupied with the tasks of his success to be able to undertake an 
enterprise of such magnitude. 

Like a voice crying in the wilderness, "The Tragedy of Europe" 
will not find easy acceptance. It advances an unpopular view of 
the war, and the radio and the daily press have successfully in- 
oculated us against its practical iconoclasm. But the voice will not 
go unheard. As President Hutchins says in his excellent intro- 
duction, "Mr. Neilson is entitled to speak. . . . and at tills hour, when 

the fate of all the world is at stake, opinions opposite to those of the 
majority deserve the most careful attention. Our country will 
shortly be faced by the decision for peace or war. In reaching that 
decision we must take into consideration the conclusions reached by 
the author of this book." 


By recent mail have come two books from England by the Kt. 
Hon. Josiah C. Wedgwood, D.S.O., M.P. 

The one, "Memoirs of a Fighting Life," is an autobiography an 
enormously informative work, which gives an intimate backstage 
picture of British political affairs and shows its author in the role 
of Commander in the Navy, Colonel in the Army (doing aclivt 
service in both), Commissioner to South Africa, India and Palestine 
and for thirty-five years, a Member of Parliament. 

Through the whole chronicle runs a hopeful theme Col. Wcdg- 
wHid's complete dedication to the philosophy of Henry George. It 
is written with a scholarly and brilliant pen, dipped more than 
occasionally into delicious humor. The book, unfortunately, is nut 
yet for sale in the United States, but a demand for it should be 
started by Georgeists all over the country, not only because of its 
admirable contribution to modern history, but because of its propa- 
ganda value. 

The second book by Col. Wedgwood (in collaboration with Allen 
Nevins, professor of history at Columbia University) is entitled 
"Forever Freedom." It is an anthology of great statements made 
down the centuries, on Liberty. Four pages are given to quotations 
from Henry George. And under the only picture in the book, a 
portrait of Col. Wedgwood, is his statement that "the main desire 
of his life is to get England to adopt the philosophy and taxation 
of Henry George." This admirable anthology (published by Penguin 
Books, price 250) is something to be studied by young and old alike 
(particularly by benighted anti-Georgcists!). It is apropos of the 
moment, and yet timeless. 



Mr. Don L. Thompson has written and published a number of 
pamphlets on different phases of the economic problem. Among 
them are: "Legislating Prosperity for the Farmer, and the Back-to 
the-Farm Panacea", "Our Deluded Over-Productionists Not Over- 
Production but Under-Production", "The Problem of Unemploy- 
ment", and "The Great Economic Delusion an Answer to the 
Townsend Pension Plan. 1 ' Mr. Thompson deals with fundamental 
economics, and many current fallacies are effectively answered in 
these pamphlets. Information pertaining to them may be had by 
writing to Mr. Don L. Thompson, E 2527 Illinois Avenue, Spokane, 

A new and attractive edition of John Salmon's pamphlet, "Ameri- 
can Taxation," has been published by the School of Democracy. In 
his preface, Mr. Salmon says: "Astonishing confusion of thought 
prevails on the subject of taxation. It's not so complicated as some 
writers make it. Our effort is made herewith to present it simply, 
hoping to have readers realize the need for a change more in 
conformity with American ideals." In the booklet, the Georgeist 
view on taxation is concisely presented. 

Henry Ware Allen lias compiled a conveniently collated question- 
naire on the Single Tax. It is printed under the title, "What is the 
Single Tax?" This pamphlet, published by the Fairhope Single Tax 
Corporation, consists of thirty typical questions and answers con- 
cerning the philosophy of Henry George. 

January February, 1941 





It is for me a pleasure and an honor to be designated Brazilian 
correspondent of LAND AND FREEDOM. I love liberty as a supreme 
good of human dignity; and the Georgeist doctrine draws my great- 
est sympathies. But I ought to confess to you : economics is not 
my "line" ; I am only a historian of literature. 

My sojourn in Brazil will be short. I shall return to Portugal, 
where I should be glad to continue at your disposition. Prof. 
Mathcu Alonso virited me once at Lisbon and gave me some very 
interesting literature on the Georgeist movement. But since the 
Spanish civil war I heard no word from him. At Buenos Aires, 
Yill;:l<>bos Dominguez visited me in 1936. I have been reading his 
articles in the journal Nosotros. I would like very much to estab- 
lish contact with the Argentine Georgeists. It seems to me tha! 
conditions there are very favorable to the Georgeist movement, on 
account of the tradition of Rivadavia. 

I have written a new book, "Dernicres Avcnturcs," in which 1 
make some reference to Henry George. I am also associate editor 
of two American periodicals Books Abroad, and Hispanic-American 
Historical Rcvinv. 

Please be assured of my best sentiments, and my Georgeist solidar- 


Mr. W. R. B. Willcox's article, "A Challenge to Pessimism," I 
i:;\ther, was partially intended as a refutation of my article, "The 
Price of Freedom." It is not. It is but an example of the confused 
thinking one falls into when a distinction between "landowners" 
on the one hand and the "power to collect economic rent" on the 
other hand is attempted. Actually, the two terms are identicial, 
because whoever collects the economic rent is the landowner, whether 
it be the community or an individual. Thus Georgeists are a body 
of land reformers, arc a minority fighting landlordism. 

The gist of Mr. Willcox's argument, however, is to be found in 
the following statements, after each of which I append my answer. 

i "Why do Georgeists antagonize, or v-ant to fight landlords? 
\Yi!l there not of necessity always be landlords to administer the 
land to which they hold titles?" If Mr. Willcox means by "fight- 
ing" the landlords, the teacking of the philosophy of Henry George, 
then the answer is self-evident. If he means physical force, my 
answer is this: I have no objection to that course provided the 
people want to take it because the landlords block peaceful reform. 
As to the landlords being indispensable to the collection of rent, 
as agents of the community, they certainly are not. True, George 
said they might be used in that function but so might anybody else. 
As a matter of fact, landowners of huge estates employ agents to 
administer their investments. Thus, to argue, as Mr. Willcox does, 
that titles to land will pacify landowners, is to say the exiled 
aristocracy of past monarchies revel in their titles when the truth 
of the matter is they are hopeful of regaining their confiscated 
lands, of which their titles are "legal" recognition. 

2 "Georgeists should know that the . . . landowner's claim . . . 
weak as it is, is far stronger than that of the public. He usually 
can submit a title deed in legal evidence of ownership, which in 
most instances is more than the public can do." Mr. Willcox might 
lie interested to know that the Constitution of the State of New 
York vests the land in the people's ownership, which is not a bad 

start from a legal point of view. However, for a Georgeist to 
;idniit the legality of a perpetuated fraud which is all the legal 
aspect of the situation is is to acknowledge the right of private 
property in land, for how else is landlordism justified? 

3 "If force is to be the arbiter in this case, Georgeists should 
know that the decision will go to the landowners, who have all of 
the legal, educational, financial and military power in their hands ; 
and that to oppose this power means persecution and civil war." 
Mr. Willcox, who claims to challenge the pessimists, should chal- 
lenge himself at this point, because if his statement is true we might 
just as well tear up "Progress and Poverty" and deny that the 
people desire to better their existence. Many influential colonists 
held Mr. Willcox's view when debating the issue of independence 
or continued subservience to England. The Tories who were the 
landowners opposed independence, aided England in the struggle, 
and were deported to Canada for their truculence their lands con- 
fiscated after the war. I do not wish to imply that civil war is the 
only way to attain the single tax society, but if that day should 
come if it will prove to be the only efficacious manner of gaining 
our objective because the landlords will have contrived a way to 
block peaceful reform it is logical to believe the people will fight. 
In a sense, Mr. Willcox answers the question himself when he says 
later on, "So desperately do men want land that down through the 
ages, if not otherwise to be had men have fought and still fight 
to possess the land." Exactly. And I might add that men will 
continue to fight until they realize that the single tax society is the 
only society in which they will not have to fight in order to gain 
access to the land. 

4 "Is it possible that . . . Georgeists are becoming merely another 
group such as socialists or communists blindly, fanatically adhering 
to still another 'ism,' hypocritically denouncing the evil doctrine of 
Karl Marx of the inevitability of a class war between Labor and 
Capital, while . . . propounding a doctrine no less evil, the inevit- 
ability of a class war between landlords and non-landlords. . . ?" 
Is it the method of achievement which interests Mr. Willcox, or the 
validity of the Georgeist philosophy? Lastly I must take issue with 
Mr. Willcox's implication that landlords are not at war with non- 
landlords. Of course they are! If this were not so, what other 
issues could be ascribed to the present war or any past war? (This 
is not to justify Hitler's attempt to displace England as No. I land- 
owner ; his idea is displacement, not common property.) Why are 
there depressions and poverty throughout the world if not for the 
wars the landlords are constantly waging against the rest of man- 
kind? Certainly Georgeists are adhering "fanatically to still another 
'ism'-" free-ism. 


I have plenty of friends to educate to the Georgeist doctrine, but 
the name of your valued journal is a little too strong for simple 
souls. Henry George once said that people will understand the land 
question when the free trade question is opened. Free trade is the 

I therefore suggest that you change the name of your journal to 
FREE TRADE. You could perform your present function just the 
same, and even enlarge your field. You would attract the interest 
of a great many merchants. 

There are innumerable examples, with a free trade moral, that 
could be used to direct attention to the economic problem. I mention 
a few of them : The City of Vatican is in Rome proper. In the 
Vatican City, a pound of sugar costs three cents. On the Italian 



January February, 1941 

side, it costs twenty cents. In Gibraltar, a pound of coffee costs 
seven cents. On the Spanish side it costs three dollars. In the 
Dominican Republic, a pork costs two dollars. In New York, the 
same pork costs fifteen dollars. In Greece, a box of cigarettes costs 
two cents ; in Spain, two dollars. In the United States a woman's 
dress can be bought for two dollars; a woman in Venezuela has to 
pay fifteen dollars. Etc., etc. 

There is a great deal of information at this time about the restric- 
tion of commerce by the State. The merchants of the world are our 
allies, and it is time that we make use of this great force. 



Mr. L. D. Beckwith, presumably by exercising a power of clairvoy- 
ance, says that because two men on an island live to themselves, there 
must be waste of products. Why? Is there any reason to suppose 
that Brown is not exploiting his holding to the full and consuming 
all his products, and that Jones is doing likewise? Here we see 
Mr. Beckwith again shifting his opponent's pieces in an endeavor 
to avoid checkmate. What he says about one being a better worker 
than the other is entirely irrelevant. Both may be equally skillful, 
equally industrious and equal in every other way and yet, because 
of better natural advantages resident in his land, Brown makes a 
living worth, say, i 500 a year, while Jones ekes out a bare subsistence 
worth 50. Clearly the difference is rent; it cannot be wages, as 
equal work is posited. In both of Mr. Beckwith's replies he has 
endeavored to make out a case by assuming things which are not 
in my hypothesis, a clear indication that he is in difficulties. He 
asserts that when only two people are involved there cannot be rent. 
(When would rent start, with three, four, five?) George held that 
when two men want the same piece of land, rent exists. Poor 
Henry George ! what did he know about rent ! He, at any rate, 
has "not advanced since 1897!" I don't think your readers will 
have any difficulty in deciding who is right as regards this island 
illustration, and to elaborate the point further would be like whipping 
a dead horse, so, with your permission, I will now show that what 
applies to the island also holds in settled communities. 

Mr. Beckwith props up his claim that "land can never have any 
value" by the theory that the higher the rent of a block the more 
that block will be found to use public (or other) utilities, let us say 
roads for short. Let us test this. Block A is fertile and needs no 
artificial manure. Its product is 10 X, cost of production 5 X, rent 
therefore 5 X. Block B is less fertile, but by using the roads and 
carting in fertilizer its production is brought up to 10 X. Both 
blocks will therefore (other things the same) use the roads equally 
so far as distribution of their products is concerned, but the poorer 
block B will, in addition, use the roads for bringing in fertilizer. 
The costs of production in this case are 5 X plus I X for fertilizer, 
rent therefore 4 X. Thus we see that the land with the higher rental 
makes less use of the roads. Q.E.D. 

Now, another illustration. Suburban home sites with good soil 
will command a higher price (rental) than those with poor soil. 
This is because the home owner knows he can produce vegetables, 
etc., for his own use with less trouble and expense. He is not looking 
to market any of his crops and consequently does not use the roads 
for such purpose. On the poorer soil he would have to cart in 
manure, use more water, etc. Here again, higher rental value, less 
use of roads, etc. Again Q.E.D. 

One more instance. Here in Auckland a quarter acre home site 
fetched 1500 while a similar site, abutting onto it at the back, was 
sold for 650. Why the difference in price? There are just two 
reasons and neither of them has anything to do with public (or 
other) services rendered at the site. Both blocks are identical in 
these things. The higher value (or rental) is due to the fact that 
the site faces the sun and affords an uninterrupted view of tht 
Auckland harbour and the magnificent Hauraki gulf. The lower 
price site has its water view largely built out and faces away from 
the sun. I do not say that in this case the extra value is in the soil, 
but obviously it has nothing whatever to do with "services rendered 
at the location," which Mr. Beckwith asserts is the sole cause of 
the existence of rent. Still again Q.E.D. 
Auckland, New Zealand C. H. NIGHTINGALE 

[The above letter closes the controversy between Messrs. C. H. 
Nightingale and L. D. Beckwith in the pages of LAND AND FREEDOM 


Have you ever considered the similarity of the (cachings of Jesus 
with those of Henry George? Jesus said: "I have come that they 
may have life and have it more abundantly." "Fray ye thus: Thy 
kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." "It is 
easier that a camel pass through the eye of a needle than that J 
rich man enter the kingdom of heaven." 

Jesus gave us a law by which we must live in order to avoid the 
hell of poverty and war. Henry George gave us a system which 
would be Jesus' law applied a system which would give us the 
Kingdom of God on earth. LTnder his plan to remove the taxatiotjj 
of labor products and place it on land values poverty would lie; 
abolished, peace and harmony assured, and human beings would! 
tend to "love one another," as Jesus urged. 
St. Louis, Mo. A. L. PICKHARDJ 


I think that LAND AND FREEDOM is not only the best organ of tha 
Single Tax movement, but really it is the only one of any intrinsiJ 
value. Frankly, it is the only one I ever read. 
Pittsburgh, Pa. J OHN C. ROSE 

(Continued from page 31) 

be unnecessary with a just distribution of wealth rent to goverr 
ments to pay for public works and services, wages to labor, an 
interest for the use of certain wealth which we call capital. 

Experience, however, does not favor the idea of what is real 
economic interest disappearing. For, as George has so clear 
shown, wages and interest rise and fall together. In new commun 
ties where land is cheap and easily accessible, they are high. Whe 
land is dear, because privately monopolized, they are low. Intere 
however, would not trouble labor or be a burden to labor wher 
rent was used for its proper purpose. Under such conditions labt 
would get its full earnings as natural resources would be open t 

I submit that arguing about interest, wasting time over mone 
and currency are lamentable deductions from the efforts necessar 
to remove the basic injustice the monopoly of natural resource 
While this idle disputation goes on, the great masses of mankint 
have to pay to live and work on the earth, fight for it when occa 
sion arises, and eke out a very bare existence in old age. 

Jiiiimiry I'cl'niury. 1941 



The Philosophy of Freedom 

A Special Review of a Remarkable Book 

"The I'hilosophy of Freedom." by Gaston Haxn. Land and 
Freedom, 1941. 210 pages. $1.00.' 

A PRACTICAL observer for many years of the old prop- 
^~*- aganda methods, .Mr. Haxo has had a splendid op- 
portunity to develop his ideas of teaching. He has taught 
many "Progress and Poverty" classes in the Henry George 
School of Social Science, having been since 1937 the head 
of the correspondence course division of the School. It 
was his experience in this field that enabled him to discover 
the "weak spots" in the average student's understanding. 
Extending the observation, he has discerned a similar in- 
ability of other readers of "Progress and Poverty" to grasp 
the technical aspects of the subject. Thus did he come to 
realize that the full implications of the philosophy have been 
missed by many of our "Georgeists." 

Concentrating upon the difficult parts of "Progress and 
Poverty," Mr. Haxo has recast and adapted them to the 
needs of those to whom the classic does not easily unfold. 
Even those for whom "Progress and Poverty" presents no 
seeming difficulty will derive an added enjoyment from that 
masterpiece upon reading "The Philosophy of Freedom." 
They will appreciate the many charts and diagrams which 
function as an integral part of the text, and constitute one 
of its most important features. Even "P & P" experts may 
well profit from a perusal of "The Philosophy of Freedom." 

While the author deserves credit for the manner in which 
he handles the economics of "Progress and Poverty," this 
review would be incomplete without a recognition of his 
gift of philosophic expression. Mr. Haxo writes with in- 
spiration, and his loftier passages entitle him to rank with 
the outstanding expounders of Henry George. Indeed, an 
appreciation of "The Philosophy of Freedom" can only 
lead to a deeper appreciation of "Progress and Poverty". 
This is the modest and ultimate purpose of the work. 

Each of the ten books of "The Philosophy of Freedom" 
is headed by "Gems from Henry George," carefully select- 
ed for strengthening and embellishing the text. Mr. Haxo 
has employed the classroom approach throughout, and has 
modernized the exposition. Beginning with the definition 
of the terms, the author follows "Progress and Poverty" in 
regular sequence, diligently compiling and integrating the 
various chapters into his adaptation. His handling of "The 
Laws of Distribution" is particularly effective. It is replete 
with interesting charts and invaluable footnotes, elucidat- 
ing the capitalization of rent, the margin of production, etc. 

In his treatment of interest Mr. Haxo presents a thorough 
account of George's theory. He makes the point that diver- 
gent views on this subject can in no wise affect the funda- 
mental features of land reform. Here again charts are 
employed to drive home the functions of labor and capital, 
wages and interest. 

"Material Progress and Distribution" is presented with 
the assistance of twenty diagrams. The entire Story of the 
Savannah is depicted in two illustrations. Equally fascinat- 
ing are the chapters on trade and exchange, with mathemati- 
cal calculations of the advantages of a free economy. "The 
Remedy and the Justice of the Remedy" is eloquently por- 
trayed. All of the other main headings of "Progress and 
Poverty" are likewise conscientiously interpreted. There 
is never a dull moment in "The Philosophy of Freedom", 
from the introductory biographical sketch of Henry George 
to the Ode to Liberty in Book X. 

A useful appendix, "Land Value Taxation in Practice'' and 
a serviceable index, conclude the work. The typography is 
of high quality and the format is of convenient size. Every 
Georgeist and every advocate of freedom should want to 
possess this remarkable contribution to economic literature. 


Jiiiiintry I'l'l'niiny. 1041 

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Land and Freedom 




= F * 9 '** No. 225 

A Legislative Framework 

for the 
Philosophy of Henry George 















The Purpose of This Pamphlet 

Henry George, in "Progress and Poverty," made an inquiry into the 
cause of business depression and increase of want with increase of wealth. 
He proved the cause to be private property in land. He prescribed the 
remedy, to give all men equal rights to land. He outlined the method, 
to make rent common property, through taxation, and to abolish all other 

This pamphlet has been compiled for the benefit of those who would 
undertake to legislate Henry George's reform into action. Over two years 
research, including an exhaustive technical examination of the tax laws 
of New York State and the Federal government, have been spent in its 
preparation. Frequent conferences have been held. A preliminary draft 
was submitted to more than one hundred prominent Henry George ad- 
herents. Many replied, with constructive suggestions, which are used in 
this completed work. 

The New York State bills can be used as models for other states. 

This framework of laws should be in the hands of every person who 
believes in the Philosophy of Henry George. It should be introduced in 
every legislative session, and fought for on non-partisan lines not as a 
tax reform but as a proposal to abolish unemployment and business 

This philosophy can be put into effect in one way only through the 
legislative machinery; it must be written into our laws. With this in 
mind, the American Association for Scientific Taxation, in collaboration 
with LAND AND FREEDOM, have prepared this framework. 


Two Constitutional Amendments 
State of New York 



In the following proposed Amendment to the New York State Constitution, 
the words in brackets [ ] represent matter to be omitted from, and the words italicized 
represent new matter to be added to, the present Section 10 of Article I of the New 
York State Constitution: /j\ 

(Amendment of 
Section 10, Arti- 

Proposing an amendment to Section 10 of Article 1 of the Constitu- cle i) 
tion, in relation to ownership of lands ; allodial tenures ; escheats. 

SECTION 1. Resolved, That Section 10 of Article 1 of the Constitution 
be amended to read as follows : 

*10. Ownership of lands; allodial tenures, escheats. 

The people of the state, in their right of sovereignty, possess the 
original and ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction 
of the state. All lands shall forever remain allodial 1 so that the entire 
and absolute [property] title is vested in the owners, according to the na- 
ture of their respective estates. It is hereby declared that all land rent 
belongs to the people as a governmental asset, and it shall be the duty of 
the legislature to pass laws to collect the full annual value of all land ex- 
clusive of improvements, for governmental use. All lands the title of 
which shall fail, from a defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the 
people. The term land shall be construed to comprise all natural resources 
inclusive of the surface of the earth, and all natural substances and powers 
on, in and over it, but exclusive of improvements thereto. 

SECTION 2. Resolved, That the foregoing amendment be submit- 
ted to the people for approval at the next general election in accordance 
with the provisions of the election law. 

1 "Allodial" is opposed to "feudal." The latter tenure required the rendering of 
services to an overlord, in return for the feudal estate granted. Allodial tenure is 
complete and absolute, free from such restrictions. 

Page Four 



(Repeal of Section 
10, Article 8) 

1 1 -Policy of state 
& purpose of chap- 



Proposing the repeal of Section 10 of Article 8 of the Constitution, 
in relation to limitations on amount to be raised by real estate taxes for 
local purposes; exceptions. 

SECTION 1. Resolved, That Section 10 of Article 8 of the Constitu- 
tion be repealed. 2 

SECTION 2. Resolved, That the foregoing repeal be submitted to the 
people for approval at the next general election in accordance with the 
provisions of the election law. 

Enabling Legislation 
State of New York 

To carry out the Constitutional Amendment, enabling legislation is of course 
required. To that end, an Administrative Bill is proposed, as follows: 

To promote the general welfare, by taking the value of land and 
public franchises in taxation, and repealing taxes on the products of 
labor, industry, and agriculture. 

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and As- 
sembly, do enact as follows: 

SECTION 1. Policy of state and purpose of chapter. It is hereby de- 
clared that a serious public condition exists in this state affecting and 
threatening the welfare, comfort, and safety of the people of the state, 
resulting in abnormal disruption in industrial and agricultural processes, 
and the curtailment of incomes by unemployment and depression. To 
increase the wages of labor and the earnings of productive capital, abolish 
unemployment, and promote the free flow of goods, there must be a shift- 
ing of taxation from values created by the combination of labor and in- 
dustry to the values created by the community. The raising of all our 
revenue from taxation upon the value of land and public franchises will 
remove the burdens upon production and industry, bear with greater equity 
upon all men, and fall upon those who receive from society a peculiar and 
valuable unearned benefit, and upon them approximately in proportion to 
the benefit they receive. The shift of the burden of taxation from pro- 
duction and exchange to the value of land and public franchises will tend 
to dispose the lands of the state to their best possible use, thereby enhanc- 

2 At present the State of New York has embodied in its Constitution, in Section 
la of Article 8, a 2% limitation on the amount of revenue to be raised by real 
estate taxes for local purposes. This section must of course be repealed, to give 
proper effect to this plan for land value taxation. 


Page five 

ing the general prospe'rity. With natural resources thus made free to 
labor, with capital and improvements exempt from state and local taxes, 
and industry released from restrictions, the wages of labor and the earn- 
ings of productive capital will be increased, and unemployment reduced 
or eliminated. Therefore, in the public interest, the necessity for legisla- 
tive intervention by the enactment of the provisions hereinafter prescribed 
is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination. 

SECTION 2. Assessment of land. Beginning in the year next succeed- 
ing the passage of this act and thereafter, land shall be assessed at its full 
value as though unimproved and free from tax, and the taxing authorities 
of counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts shall annually fix 
such tax rates on the assessed valuations of land as to cause, as nearly as 
possible, the full annual gross value or rent of land to be taken by taxa- 
tion. 3 

SECTION 3. N on- Assessment of improvements. Beginning in the year 
next succeeding the passage of this act and thereafter, improvements on 
land shall not be assessed or taxed. 

SECTION 4. Assessment of intangible franchise rights. Beginning in 
the year next succeeding the passage of this act, the State Tax Commission 
shall annually fix and determine the full and actual value of the intangible 
franchise right of each special franchise under the jurisdiction of the 
public service commission and of the transit commission as though free 
from tax and exclusive of the value of tangible property included in such 
special franchise. The commission shall also fix and determine the full 
value and annual value of the same and shall file a written statement of 
such full value and annual value with the clerk of the city, town, 
or village in which such special franchise is subject to assessment, as set 
forth in Section 45-c of Article 2 of the tax law. The taxing authority of 
each taxing district shall annually fix such tax rates on such full value of 
the intangible franchise right as to cause as nearly as possible the annual 
value of such intangible franchise right to be taken by taxation. 

SECTION 5. Equalization of assessment and apportionment of tax. The 
State Tax Commission shall make such reasonable rules and regulations 
not inconsistent with law as may be necessary to require the local taxing 
authorities of the state to assess land at its full value as though unim- 
proved and free from tax, and to collect the full annual value thereof. 
The local taxing authorities shall pay over annually to the State Tax Com- 
mission for the use of the state, in such manner and at such times within 
each year as may be prescribed by the State Tax Commission, one per cent 
(1%) of such full value of land and intangible franchise rights. 

SECTION 6. Repeal of taxes on industry and labor products. In addi- 
tion to the abolition of all taxes on improvements on land, as provided in 

3 The method herein proposed seems for the present more practical, while no less 
effective, than the alternative method of directly collecting the annual gross 
economic rent as such, since it conforms more nearly to existing tax procedure. 



3-Non - Assess- 
ment of improve- 

4-Assessment of 
intangible fran- 
chise rights. 

S-Equalization of 
assessment & ap- 

6-Repeal of taxes 
on industry & la- 
bor products. 

Page Six 



88- Separability 

Sp-Saving clause. 

Section 3, all other taxes on industry and labor products are to be abol- 
ished as hereinafter provided, to wit : 

The following taxes shall be abolished and the laws providing for 
them repealed, to take effect on the last day of the second year following 
the passage of this act : 

Tax on gasoline and similar motor fuel (article 12-a of tax law), tax 
on milk (article 19 of tax law), cigarette tax (article 20 of tax law), taxes 
on alcoholic beverages (article 18 of tax law), excise taxes on business 
transactions, occupancy, tickets of admission to places of public exhibits, 
patent medicine, tobacco, vending machines, possession of telephone con- 
nections and all other excise taxes and taxes on sales of merchandise 
whether under a state law or under any local law. 

The following taxes shall be abolished and the laws providing for 
them repealed, to take effect on the last day of the third year following 
the passage of this act : 

Tax on mortgages (article 11 of tax law), tax on transfers of stock 
and other corporate certificates (article 12 of tax law), corporation tax 
(article 9 of tax law), franchise tax on state banks, trust companies and 
financial corporations (article 9-b of tax law), tax on national banking- 
associations (article 9-c of tax law). 

Taxes upon personal incomes (article 16 of tax law), and taxes on 
inheritances (articles 10, 10-a and 10-b of tax law) shall be progressively 
reduced until eventually abolished and the laws providing for them re- 
pealed whenever the revenue from the tax on land and intangible fran- 
chise value is found sufficient to meet all budgetary requirements. 

SECTION 7. Construction. This chapter shall be construed liberally 
to effectuate the purposes hereof, and the enumeration of specific powers 
in this chapter shall not operate to restrict the meaning of any general 
grant of power contained in this chapter or to exclude other powers com- 
prehended in such general grant. 

SECTION 8. Separability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, 
section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of com- 
petent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or 
invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to 
the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved 
in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. 

SECTION 9. Saving clause. The provisions of this chapter shall not 
affect or impair any contract or remedy, or any act done or any right 
accruing, accrued or acquired, taxes, tax obligations, or exemptions from 
taxation, the validity of or rights as to taxes collected or proceeds thereof 
or the validity as to any acts done or rights or exemptions accruing, ac- 
crued, or acquired under any tax laws, general, local or special, or any 
penalty, forfeiture or punishment under or by virtue of the laws in exist- 
ence prior to the time when this chapter or any section thereof takes effect, 
but the same may be asserted, enforced, prosecuted or inflicted. 


SECTION 10. Repeal of inconsistent laws. All general or special laws Sio-Repeal of in- 
or provisions thereof inconsistent with this act or with any part thereof, consistent laws. 
are hereby repealed. 

SECTION 11. This law shall take effect immediately. 

Explanation of Land Value Tax Law 

As the title of the bill points out, the primary purpose is to eliminatt 
business depressions and end unemployment and restore to all men equal 
rights to the use of the earth. To accomplish this the bill amends the 
present tax law by repealing taxes on the products of labor, industry and 
agriculture, and substituting one tax upon the value of land and public 

The annual value of any piece of land exclusive of improvements, 
usually called "ground rent," is directly due to the presence and activities 
of population and to the manner and amount of public expenditures. It 
therefore constitutes the natural source of revenue for government and 
should be exhausted before resorting to taxation of the products of labor, 
industry and agriculture. 

Relieving improvements from taxation would result in a tremendous 
stimulus to construction both in the number and character of buildings. 

The abolition of sales and other taxes would increase purchasing 
power, stimulate trade, increase employment, and provide a wider market 
for the products of agriculture and industry. 


Assessment of land at full value "as though unimproved and free Assessment 
from tax" is explained by the economic law that the "selling price" or O f land at full 
"market value" of land is its net rent (after taxation) capitalized at the value, 
current interest rate. For example : 

A plot of land has a gross annual rent of $1000. 

No tax, $1000 net rent capitalized at 5% gives a market value of $20,000. 
$500 tax, $500 net rent capitalized at 5% gives a market value of $10,000. 
$1000 tax, $No net rent capitalized at 5% gives a market value of $ 0. 

The gross annual rent of land, however, is not reduced by taxation: 
it tends to increase as prosperity rises, causing greater demand for land. 

Full economic or annual gross rent capitalized, and not market value, 
is made the base of assessment value on which the tax rate is calculated. 

The present utilities law (sub. 6, sec. 2, tax law) defines a special Explanation o f" 
franchise as including the value of tangible property. The courts have franchise value 
held that the value of the naked franchise, or the intangible franchise law - 
right, may be determined by deducting the value of tangible property from 
the total value of the special franchise. 

"The net earnings rule contemplates a valuation upon the 

basis of the net earnings of the corporation which are attribut- 

Page Eight 


able to its enjoyment of the special franchise. The method is 
thus applied: (1) ascertain the gross earnings; (2) deduct a fair 
and reasonable return on that portion of the capital which is 
invested in tangible property. The resulting balance gives the 
earnings attributable to the special franchise. If this balance be 
capitalized at a fair rate we have the value of the special fran- 
chise." (People v. State Board of Tax Corn'rs. (1909) 196 
N. Y. 39, 89 N. E. 581, affirming 128 App. Div. 13, 112 N. Y. S. 
392. To the same effect, see People ex rel, Central Hudson Gas, 
etc. Co. v. State Tax Commission. (1926) 218 App. Div. 44, 
217 N. Y. S. 707, affirmed on this point (1928) 247 N. Y. 281, 
160 N. E. 371.) 


Repeal of other Repeal of taxes on industry and labor products is staggered over 

taxes. several years. It will take a year or more to make necessary adjustments. 

The bill divides the taxes to be repealed into four classes. First, taxes on 
improvements, to be repealed at the beginning of the first year after the law 
takes effect ; second, consumption taxes, like sales taxes, at the end of the 
second year; third, taxes on industry generally, such as business cor- 
poration franchise taxes, at the end of the third year; fourth, income 
taxes and inheritance taxes which are direct taxes are to be progressively 
reduced and repealed as soon as feasible. 


It is proposed that the collection of the tax shall be made by local 
taxing authorities, who shall remit one per cent (1%) of the full value 
of land and intangible franchise right to the federal government, one 
per cent (1%) to the state government, leaving the balance, approximately 
three per cent (3%), for local use. 4 


License fees. There are many so-called license fees which are really taxes in dis- 

guise, that is, for automobile registration plate taxes, liquor dealers' li- 
censes, etc. This subject must be handled separately. The correct rule 
should be that the State Tax Commission should determine the cost of 
regulating any profession or trade for which a license is required and the 
license fee should be based on the cost of regulating the profession or 
trade. This bill does not touch the social security and unemployment 
insurance taxes. If it is desired to repeal these laws separate bills should 
be drawn. 


Debt limit. This plan does not provide for the repeal of Article 8 Section 4 

(New York State Constitution) relating to the present 10% debt limita- 
tion. It is believed this will become a dead letter, because when the entire 
rent of land is collected for public use, the necessity for public debt will 
disappear for all normal requirements. 

Allocation of tax- 

4 See Federal Plan on page 9 et seq. 

Page Ten 


4-Powers and 
duties of Board. 

16 - Abolition of 
taxes-first year. 

7 - Abolition of 
taxes-second year. 

six years from the expiration of the terms of their predecessors in office. 
If a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of term it shall be 
filled by appointment for the unexpired term. No more than one mem- 
ber shall be appointed from any state. Each member shall devote his 
entire time to the duties of his office. Any member may, after written 
notice containing specification of charge and full public opportunity to be 
heard, be removed by the president for neglect of duty or misfeasance in 
office, and a member may be removed for other cause by the Senate on 
recommendation of the president. The chairman of the board shall re- 
ceive an annual salary of Twenty-five thousand dollars and each of the 
other members shall receive an annual salary of Twenty thousand dollars. 
SECTION 4. Powers and Duties of Board. The federal board of 
equalization shall make such reasonable rules and regulations not incon- 
sistent with law as may be necessary to require the land in each Ibcal 
taxing district in the United States to be assessed at its full value as 
though unimproved and free from tax, and each intangible franchise 
right to be assessed at its full and actual value as though free from tax 
and exclusive of the value of tangible property included in such special 

SECTION 5. The amount of one per cent (1%) of the land value and 
of intangible franchise rights shall be collected by the local taxing author- 
ities in each taxing district in the United States and remitted to the 
Treasury of the United States in such manner and at such times within 
each year as may be prescribed by the Treasury Department. 

SECTION 6. The following taxes upon products and processes of labor, 
industry and agriculture are hereby abolished and the laws relating to 
them repealed at the end of the first year following the passage of this act: 

a. AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT. (Act of 1938, Pub. No. 430, 
75th Congress) Taxes and penalties on wheat, corn, cotton, rice and tobacco. 

b. PROCESSING TAX ON CERTAIN OILS. (Section 602%, Revenue Act 
of 1034). 

c. OLEOMARGARINE. (Sections 2300-2314 of Internal Revenue Code). 

d. BITUMINOUS COAL. (Sections 3520-3528 of Internal Revenue Code). 

e. PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS. (Sec. 2700 (a) of Internal Revenue Code). 

SECTION 7. The following taxes shall be abolished and the laws relat- 
ing to them repealed at the end of the second year following the passage 
of this act : 

a. SUGAR. (Act of 1937, Sections 3490-3508 of Internal Revenue 

b. ADMISSIONS, DUES, INITIATIONS. (Sections 1700-1704, 1710-1712 
of Internal Revenue Code). 

tions 3403, 3440-3445, 3400, 3407, 3412, 3409, 3413, 3401, 3404 
3405, 1650 of Internal Revenue Code). 

d. STAMP TAXES, STOCKS, BONDS, DEEDS, etc. (Sections 1800, 1801, 
10023 & b, 3481-3483, 1806, 1809-1822, 1835-1839, 1807, 1809-1838, 1804, 
1805 of Internal Revenue Code). 


Page Nine 

Constitutional Amendment 
United States of America 


Proposing amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each house con- 
curring therein), that the following amendment to the Constitution of 
the United States, when ratified by three-fourths of the several states, 
shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution, 
to wit : 

The Congress shall have power to levy and collect taxes on the value 
of any and all land in and on the value of any and all intangible franchise 
rights throughout the United States, or any place subject to their juris- 
diction, without apportionment among the several states, and without re- 
gard to any census or enumeration. 

Enabling Legislation 
United States of America 

AN ACT to provide revenue for the government of the United 
States and to promote the general welfare by taking the value of land and 
intangible public franchise rights in taxation and repealing taxes on the 
products of labor, industry and agriculture. 

BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled as follows : 

SECTION 1. Beginning in the year next succeeding the passage of this 
act and thereafter there shall be assessed and paid annually into the 
Treasury of the United States for the use of the government one per 
centum of the full value of all land and intangible public franchise rights 
within the United States and any place subject to their jurisdiction. 

SECTION 2. Definition of land. The term land shall comprise all na- 
tural resources, inclusive of the surface of the earth and all natural sub- 
stances and powers on, in or over it but exclusive of improvements. 

SECTION 3. Federal Board of Equalisation. There is hereby estab- 
lished a federal board of equalization consisting of three (3) members 
appointed by the president by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, one of whom shall be designated by the president as chairman of 
the Board. In the event of a vacancy in the chairmanship of the board 
the president shall designate a successor or other member of the board 
as chairman. The members first appointed shall hold office for two, four 
and six years respectively from January first of the year in which they 
were appointed. Their successors shall be appointed for full terms of 


2-Definition of 

3-Federal Board 
of Equalization. 


Page Eleven 

SECTION 8. The following taxes shall be abolished and the laws re- 
lating to them repealed at the end of the third year following the passage 
of this act: 

a. CAPITAL STOCK TAX. (Under Section 1200 of Internal Rev- 
enue Code). 

Internal Revenue Code). 

ter D of Internal Revenue Code). 

(Section 14 of Act of April 3, 1939)- 

e. EXCESS PROFITS ON NAVY CONTRACTS. (Act of June 25, 1936, 45 
Stat. 1926, 34 U. S. C. Sup. IV, 496). 

f. NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT. (Sections 2720-2733 of Internal Rev- 
enue Code). 

g. TOBACCO STAMP TAX. (Sections 2000-2181 of Internal Rev- 
enue Code). 

3250-3255 of Internal Revenue Code). 

tions 3465-3474 of Internal Revenue Code). 

SECTION 9. All import duties shall be abolished and all the laws relat- 
ing thereto shall be repealed at the end of the fourth year following the 
passage of this act. 

SECTION 10. The following taxes shall be progressively reduced until 
eventually abolished and the laws providing for them repealed whenever 
the revenue from the taxes on land and intangible franchise values is 
found sufficient to meet all budgetary requirements : 


ternal Revenue Code). 

c. ESTATE TAX, INHERITANCES. (Sections 800-938 of Internal Rev- 
enue Code). 

1000-1031 of Internal Revenue Code). 

SECTION 11. This act shall take effect immediately. 

8 - Abolition of 
taxes-third year. 

9 - Abolition of 
import duties. 

10 - Income and 
inheritance taxes. 

Local Administrative Bills 

Local acts, to conform to the Federal and State laws heretofore 
proposed, can readily be framed after a study of existing local statutes. 
Therefore, no model for a local administrative bill is included in this 
Legislative Framework. The American Association for Scientific 
Taxation will gladly cooperate with any person or group who wishes to 
draw up such a local bill. 


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VOL. XLI, No. 2 WHOLE No. 225 

March April, 1941 

Land and Freedom 

An International Journal of the Henry George Movement Founded in 1901 

The Current Tax Scene 

Latest Developments and Problems 


Her Economic Background 

Pavlos Giannelia 

The Land of Plenty 

A Playlet in Six Acts 

Henry J. Foley 





March April, 1941 


An International Journal of the Henry George Movement 
(Founded by Joseph Dana Miller) 

Published Bi-Monthly by 
LAND AND FREEDOM, 150 Nassau Street, New York 




Please address all communications and make all 
remittances payable to Land and Freedom. 

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: $2.00 per year. Libraries and Colleges, $1.00. 
Special trial offer to students and graduates of the Henry George 
School of Social Science, $1.00 for one year. Payable in advance. 

Entered as second-class matter Oct. 2, 1913, at the Post Office, 
New York, N. Y., under the act of March 3, 1897. 

March April, 1941 

Vol. XLI, No. 2 

WHOLE No. 225 


ENGLAND: Douglas J. J. Owen. 

CANADA: Herbert T. Owens. 

BRAZIL: Prof. Fidelino de Figueiredo. 

NEW ZEALAND: Hon. P. J. O'Regan, Wellington 

T. E. McMillan, Matamata. 
SPAIN: Baldomero Argente, Madrid. 
BULGARIA: Lasar Karaivanove, Plovdiv. 
HUNGARY: J. J. Pikler, Budapest. 
FRANCE: Ing. Pavlos Giannelia. 




GROUND Pavlos Giannelia 45 

RENT AND THE TAX FUND Robert Schley 47 


THE LAND OF PLENTY Henry J. Foley 50 


THE CRITICS CRITICIZED Jacob Schwartzman 55 


ART AND SOCIETY Ami Mali Hicks 61 


STRIKE" Douglas J. J. Owen 62 

OUR CANADIAN LETTER Herbert T. Owens 64 


THE POWER TO EXACT WAGES . . Dr. Royal E. S. Hayes 68 





We declare : 

That the earth is the birthright of all Mankind 
and that all have an equal and unalienable right 
to its use. 

That man's need for the land is expressed by 
the Rent of Land ; that this Rent results from the 
presence and activities of the people ; that it arises 
as the result of Natural Law, and that it there- 
fore should be taken to defray public expenses. 

That as a result of permitting land owners to 
take for private purposes the Rent of Land it 
becomes necessary to impose the burdens of tax- 
ation on the products of labor and industry, which 
are the rightful property of individuals, and to 
which the government has no moral right. 

That the diversion of the Rent of Land into 
private pockets and away from public use is a 
violation of Natural Law, and that the evils aris- 
ing out of our unjust economic system are the 
penalties that follow such violation, as effect fol- 
lows cause. 

We therefore demand : 

That the full Rent of Land be collected by the 
government in place of all direct and indirect 
taxes, and that buildings, machinery, implements 
and improvements on land, all industry, commerce, 
thrift and enterprise, all wages, salaries and in- 
comes, and every product of labor and intellect be 
entirely exempt from taxation. 

That there be no restrictions of any kind imposed 
upon the exchange of goods within or among 


Taking the full Rent of Land for public purposes 
would insure the fullest and best use of all land. 
Putting land to its fullest and best use would create 
an unlimited demand for labor. Thus the job would 
seek the man, not the man the job, and labor would 
receive its full share of the product. 

The freeing from taxation of every product of 
labor, including commerce and exchange, would 
encourage men to build and to produce. It would 
put an end to legalized robbery by the government. 

The public collection of the Rent of Land, by 
putting and keeping all land forever in use to the 
full extent of the people's needs, would insure real 
and permanent prosperity for all. 

"It would require less than the fingers of the two hands to enumerate those who, from Plato down, rank with Henry 
George among the world's social philosophers . . . No man, no graduate of a higher educational institution, has a right 
to regard himself as an educated man in social thought unless he has some first-hand acquaintance with the theoretical 
contribution of this great American thinker." JOHN DEWEY. 

Land and Freedom 

Vol. XLI 


No. 2 

Comment and Reflection 

1HAVE never claimed to be a special friend of labor . . . 
What I stand for is equal rights for all men." These 
memorable words were pronounced by Henry George 
before an audience of workingmen, and were in reply 
to an intimation by the preceding speaker that George 
was a patron of labor. The author of "Progress and 
Poverty" refused to conceive of laborers as wards who 
needed guardians, and disowned any idea of friendship 
which included special rights or privileges for particular 
groups. Aware of the evils associated with privilege, Henry 
George constantly sought to instill in labor an appreciation 
of its inherent dignity. He did his best to discourage the 
paternalistic order which labor was helping to bring about 
in government, and which today has grown to Frankenstein 

BY a seemingly curious development, the servility which 
seeks special favor ultimately takes on the cloak of 
tyranny as its objects are attained. It is the old story of the 
swing of the pendulum. The development of picketing illus- 
trates this point. It began apparently as a defensive mea- 
sure; it \v;is a device for apprising the public of the "un- 
fairness" of a particular employer in his relations with his 
employees. Today, aided and abetted by preferential legisla- 
tion and judicial acquiescence, it has become an instrument 
of intimidation to coerce not only an immediate employer, 
but those in business far removed, and the public itself. 

"PICKETING is said to be justified as an expression of the 
- freedom of speech and assembly but this sort of un- 
checked "freedom" usually leads to "Stand and deliver!" 
The truth is, that strikes and picketing and the other devices 
of organized labor, are part of the distortions caused by our 
unsound economic system. The basis of it is indeed a "lock- 
out" but not of the capitalistic variety assumed by work- 
ingmen. Denied free access to the resources of the earth, 
workingmen, sensing that they have some rights, resort to 
picketing to force others to employ them. The "freedom" 
to engage in this type of activity would automatically be in- 
operative in a true economy of freedom. This is what Henry 
George had in mind when he sought to champion the dig- 
nity of labor rather than curry a debasing friendship. Cer- 
tainly he would condemn all legislation sought by trades 
unions aiming at monopoly. He would oppose, as being con- 
trary to the spirit of freedom, those ordinances and regula- 
tions which forbid any but union members to be employed, 
not only in skilled professions but in the most trivial occupa- 

A NOTHER of the growing pains of a patronized labor 
-*" is the so-called jurisdictional fight between the differ- 
ent unions. This farcical performance compels the employ- 
er, once the only conceivable "foe" of labor, to witness the 
internal disputes of his employees while the plant lies idle. 
When not brick-batting each other, the rival camps engage 
in petitioning the government to certify this and that in 
their respective favors. Here is a chance for labor to learn 
the lesson that paternalism is fickle, and that to depend on 
it is to put one's faith in princes. Perhaps there was some- 
thing more than mere irritation in President Roosevelt's 
"A plague on both your houses" to the C.I.O. and the 
A.F.L. It may be that in that utterance the workingman 
may find a clue to the distinction between the special friend 
of labor and the deeper friendship of Henry George. 

rVESPITE the errors of its ways, we cannot bring our- 
- L ' selves to falling out with trades-unionism. Some one 
has said that you cannot indict a nation; we will concede 
as much to the workers. Even in the matter of sit-down 
strikes there is reason to believe the men have not been 
behaving as badly as has appeared. To be sure, law-abiding 
citizens revolt at the spectacle of employees seizing the 
property of their employers. On the other hand, the men 
reason that sitting down on "capital" is necessary to safe- 
guard their livelihood. Certainly the "capitalists" have done 
very little in educating labor to the realization that capital 
and labor are not antagonistic in the politico-economic sense. 
"Capital" signifies to labor only a conglomerous mixture of 
land, resources, wealth, etc. It is therefore a fact that in sit- 
down strikes, especially in the case of the larger industries, 
whose owners are not only capitalists, but landlords and 
monopolists withal, the workers are to a great extent oust- 
ing their employers from the possession of unearned wealth 
and natural resources. 

"VTEEDLESS to say, however, the strikers are only blun- 
dering into the real cause, and while they may incident- 
ally be challenging their employer's right to monopolize 
natural resources, the great truth remains obscured. The 
mass of workingmen do not yet realize that the primary 
workshop of labor is not the factory but the land. They 
are not aware that a much more grievous "sit-down" is being 
perpetrated by the owners of the earth and its resources. 
What a great force for progress would be released if man- 
kind's heritage were truly understood and the idea of sitting 
down on "capital" were translated into more intelligent 
action ! 



March April, 1941 

The Current Tax Scene 

Some Reflections on Taxes 


"C1ROM the last days of February to the middle of April, 
-*- everybody is tax-conscious. John and Jane Doe are 
paying their income tax and are greatly interested in the 
reasons for the tax, what it is used for, etc. Learned pro- 
fessors give lectures on taxation, clubs and forums talk 
about taxation, leading newspapers give editorial space to 
the subject, and so on. Then, when the deadline for paying 
the income tax has passed, interest fades. John and Jane 
Doe go about their usual occupations, serene in the notion 
that their "tax troubles" are over for the year. Seldom do 
they realize that part of every dollar they spend is taken by 
half-hidden "nuisance taxes." 

Unfortunately, the concern shown by the plain citizen in 
this matter of taxation seems to center itself on how the 
taxes are spent, rather than how they are raised. This is odd, 
because I feel sure that most of these decent plain citizens, 
when they were quite young, heard from an admonishing 
father the advice, "Earn your money honestly, my son, or 
you'll never spend it wisely." John Doe usually does try to 
do just that. But he fails to realize that his community is 
not earning its money honestly, that it is robbing its citizens 
of their earnings, and not taking what is its own the land 
values which the community itself creates. Not taking these 
values, the community has to go into John Doe's house and 
tax everything he owns and buys. And yet John Doe is more 
concerned with how his community uses its revenue than 
how it gets it. 

John Doe goes to meetings and listens to high-sounding 
words about "fair tax rates based on realistic valuations," 
"improved methods of accounting and tax billing," "estab- 
lishing fair tax schedules and property valuations." He hears 
about extravagant government spending. All over the coun- 
try, well meaning citizens are urging government economy 
and improvement in tax techniques, while the values that 
really belong to the community are permitted to slip into 
private hands. 

Another obstacle in the way of John Doe's understanding 
of the tax question is the term "real estate." To the average 
citizen, "real estate" means the land and improvements 
thereon, and frequently he thinks of it only in terms of those 
improvements. And so he is deceived by what we hear so 
often nowadays "the tax burden on real estate." Taxpay- 
ers' Federations and similar organizations are worrying just 
now about this "burden." Seldom does John Doe think of 

the land beneath his house, the location of which makes up] 
a considerable part of the value of his "real estate." And. 
seldom does he reflect that the community-created land 
values should bear the burden of community expenses. 

I am certain that John Doe is quite aware of what makes 
land valuable, but he does not realize that here is the valuej 
which belongs of right to the community. 

I would like to relate a story which illustrates this point. 
In a New England town, where I own a house and an acre] 
of land (a town which is small in population, but stands; 
high in taxable wealth), the fine old custom of Town Meet-, 
ings is still kept up. One evening the Town Meeting con-1 
cerned itself with the matter of upkeep for two handsome! 
new buildings, senior and junior high schools, of which thq 
town is justly proud. But the Taxpayers' Association was 
worrying, as usual, about the town's yearly expenses, anq 
proposed taking ten thousand dollars off the yearly appro-3 
priation for the schools. Several worthy citizens madJ 
sentimental speeches about the value of these schools forj 
their children, arguments which merely seemed to amusej 
the meeting. Then I got into the discussion and askedj 
whether it was not possible that these two school buildingsj 
with the opportunities they offered to parents with growina 
children, added at least ten thousand dollars to the yearljl 
value of the land of the town. This caused a mild sensation! 
but, the hour being late, the matter was not further dis-j 
cussed. Later, a prominent citizen a leading jurist apl 
preached me, and said he wished he had thought of thai 
argument. He cited rising land values near the schools, parl 
ticularly one overgrown lot with a ramshackle building oil 
it, unsaleable for years, and now sold for a good price 
"because it was so near the schools." 

John Doe understands pretty well what makes land values! 
but he does not see its connection with the taxation probleni 
that bothers him. This is unfortunate, for only when all 
citizens understand this important question can the solution 
be found. 

New York's Latest Assessments | 

latest official report on New York City's asscssea 
-*- valuation of taxable real estate was given in Febru-1 
ary, in a statement to the press by William Stanley Miller, : 
President of the Tax Commission. (The Tax Department 
and the Tax Commission have been operative since the new 
City Charter was adopted in 1938. The former name was 
Department of Taxes and Assessments.) 

March April, 1941 



Ever since 1904, when Lawson Purdy succeeded in his 
campaign to provide for the separate assessment of New 
York's land and improvements, such separate assessment 
has been a statutory requirement. However, in Mr. Miller's 
recent statement to the press, which is quite detailed, no dis- 
tinction is made between these two radically different forms 
of property. Land and improvements are spoken of only 
under the collective name, "real estate," and the only dis- 
tinction made is between the "three classes of property "- 
ordinary real estate, real estate of utility corporations, and 
special franchises. The figure given by Mr. Miller for the 
tentative assessed valuation of ordinary real estate, for 1941- 
42, was $14,334,807,948, including the five boroughs of 
Greater New York. 

Since no separate figures were given for land and im- 
provements, Mr. Harry C. Maguire wrote to the Tax Com- 
mission, requesting a breakdown of the figures. In reply, 
he received the following figures on ordinary real estate: 
(Tentative ruination for 1941-42) 

Land - $6,787,086,103 

Improvements 7,547,721,845 

Total _ 14,334,807,948 

It can be seen that improvements are assessed at over 
$760 millions more than land. Manhattan is the only bor- 
ough where land is assessed at a higher figure than improve- 
ments. The figures in that borough are: Land, $3,718,190,- 
485; Improvements $3,128,811,365; giving a total of $6,- 

For the past ten years, New York real estate has been de- 
clining in value ; and during the same period, the assessors 
have been assessing land at a lower figure than improve- 
ments. The assessment of land had reached its peak in 
1931, when the figures were: 

(Valuation of Ordinary Real Estate for 1931) 

Land $9,024,155,671 

Improvements 8,737,356,696 

Total 17,761,512,367 

While landowners have succeeded in getting their hold- 
ings assessed lower and lower each year, and while they have 
succeeded in securing a tax limitation on real estate, the 
City's budget has been just as steadily increasing. The 1941 
budget is $677,892,134. 

Until two or three years ago, a single tax on land values, 
in the amount of the present 2.9% on the assessed value plus 
5% on the capitalized value, would have been more than am- 
ple to cover the budget. Today, such a tax on the land of 
ordinary real estate plus the land of utility corporations 
would fall about $100 millions short of the present budget. 
This however, does not take into account the value of spec- franchises. The latest franchise figures have not been 
published, but it is reasonable to suppose that they would 
more than make up the difference. 

However, as long as the proposals of Henry George are 
ignored, the budget will continue to rise, and landowners will 
continue to get lower assessments. Ironically enough, these 
are the very conditions that are used as arguments against 
a single tax on land values. 

Taxes and Trucking 


Assistant Counsel, American Trucking Associations 

[An address delivered at the February meeting of the Women's 
Single Tax Club of Washington.] 

1^/TEMBERS of the Single Tax Club may be interested 
-^'*- in knowing something about the trucking industry, 
particularly in view of the fact that motor carriage is a rela- 
tively new form of transportation. You will be interested 
to know that there are 3,500,000 employees in the industry 
throughout the United States. That is a large figure more 
than three times as many as employed in any other form of 
transportation. Of the 4,500,000 trucks in the United States 
some 600,000 are for hire and subject to the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission. Regulation, according to the Commis- 
sion, is as complete as that under which the railroads oper- 
ate, if not more so. 

Not only does this industry serve all places that are 
reached by rail and water but, in addition, serves over 48,000 
other towns which are not served at all by rail transporta- 
tion. To all these points and places we give an expedited 
service carrying every type of commodity. You might be 
surprised to know the amount of fruit, milk, berries, fresh 
vegetables, etc., that are hauled to our cities by motor truck. 
Livestock of all descriptions moves in great quantity. Every 
item is included, from a thimble even to a railroad engine 

This group will be interested to learn that highway users 
paid $1,850,000,000 in taxes in 1940. 38 per cent of all taxes 
in the United States are paid by highway users. In special 
taxes the trucks themselves, as distinguished from other 
types of vehicles, paid over $430,000,000 in 1940. 

One of our problems which is significant to you is the 
multiplicity of these taxes. If we could pay all our taxes 
as one ; if we could pay them as ten taxes, or even as fifteen, 
we should be happy indeed but highway users actually pay 
as many as twenty-eight or thirty taxes, all types combined. 
We are glad to say to the single taxers, that we long for 
the time when taxation will be greatly simplified. What a 
Utopia if there were only one tax bill ! 

There are many barriers today to interstate transporta- 
tion by motor vehicle. Some of these are tax barriers re- 
sulting from a pyramiding of an accumulation of taxes. 
Frequently the special license plate taxes alone required in 



March April, 1941 

moving within three states will cost well over a thousand 
dollars. There are many instances of individual vehicles 
which pay $1,500, and as high as $2,000 a year in special 
taxes. You will agree that it is exceedingly difficult to per- 
form economical transportation with this tax burden. And 
much of this results from the failure of the states to recog- 
nize taxes paid in other states. In other words, reciprocity 
is not granted by all our sovereign governments within this 
country, and the result must be borne very largely by the 
people themselves. 

There are size and weight restrictions, and equipment 
restrictions. No truck has been made which can travel in 
all forty-eight states and be within all the laws. One state 
permits 40,000 pounds as gross load, whereas its neighbor 
may permit only 35,000 pounds. Some trucks may be limited 
to 18,000 pounds. Texas has the distinction of permitting a 
pay-load of only 7,000 pounds if it goes beyond a railroad 
station. Not many guesses are necessary to discover who 
supported such a proposal in the legislature of that state. 
What is proper in one state is improper in another, although 
the state line is really imaginary, and the roads as good in 
one as in another. 

And there are efforts to Balkanize our country by setting 
up ports of entry that correspond with customs officers such 
as are known in Europe. These ports of entry embarrass 
and delay interstate commerce and serve to increase the bur- 
den on the ultimate consumer. We oppose them as being 
unnecessary, uneconomic and un-American. 

(Following Mr. Rice's talk, various members of the Club stressed 
the advantages that would accrue to the truckers by the substitution 
of a single land-value tax in place of the multiplicity of taxes now 

The Tax Institute 

all persons and groups interested in taxation and 
public finance, whatever their point of view, reliable 
information on this subject is essential. Needless to say, 
facts and figures in this field of ever-growing importance is 
of great value to those advocating the tax reforms of 
Hen.'v Gcrge. 

There is an organization devoted to the work of impar- 
tially compiling and making available information on tax 
matters. This is the Tax Institute. "Give the people th-: facts, 
and they will determine the policies," is one of the slogans 
of this Institute. 

The Tax Institute was until recently known as the Tax 
Policy League. It was organized in New York in 1932 by 
Harold S. Buttenheim, editor of The American City, and a 
civic leader in many fields. Mr. Buttenheim (an advocate 
of land value taxation) saw the need for tax icsearch, and 

secured the cooperation of Dr. Mabel L. Walker, an able 
student of the subject, in the venture. 

Recently the Tax Policy League received a sjrai'c from the 
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and thereupon became affili- 
ated with the Wharton School of Finance and Commence of 
the University oT Pennsylvania. At the same time it moved 
its headquarters to Philadelphia and changed its name to 
Tax Institute. Dr. Walker is now Director of the Institute, 
and Mr. Buttenheim serves on the Administrative Board, 
which also includes such leaders in the educational and civic 
worlds as Frederick L. Bird of Dun & Bradstreet, Prof. 
Ernest Minor Patterson and others. On the Advisory Council 
appear many other prominent names, such advocates of land 
value taxation as William E. Clement (Secretary of the 
Benjamin Franklin Research Society), John A. Zangerle 
(Auditor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio), and others. 

What do national, state and local budgets amount to? 
What are the total tax collections? What are the principal 
sources of revenue? What is the public debt? What can be 
done about interstate trade barriers? These are a few of 
the questions that the Tax Institute undertakes to answer 
in a form which can be readily understood by the layman. 
The program of work is as follows : 

1. Preparation of an annual compilation of tax collec- 
tion findings, based on data furnished by Federal, 
state and local officials. 

2. Publication of a monthly information bulletin, each 
issue related to one particular tax topic and contain- 
ing notes on new tax legislation and publications. 

3. Publication of a semi-monthly information sheet. 

4. Organization of a national symposium once a year on 
some tax problem of current importance. 

5. Maintenance of an information service for the pur- : 
pose of answering queries of both members and non- ' 

The Tax Institute has of late been directing its attention 
to the matter of interstate trade barriers realizing the seri- 
ousness of the development. The December 1940 symposium 
was on "Tax Barriers to Trade," and a book on the subject 
is being published by the Institute. A recent issue of Tax 
Policy (the monthly bulletin) was devoted to the question, 
"What can be done about interstate trade barriers ?" Since | 
Kansas, in 1933, set up "ports of entry" on major highways 
entering the state, and levied "tariffs" on certain types t 
goods seeking entry, fourteen other states have adopted tin- 
system. The Federal government has become alarmed at 
the situation, and is trying to cope with it. Tax Policy has 
this to say: 

"Trade barriers are an example of protectionism whereby 
the citizens of one governmental area seek to protect them- 
selves from the products or services of citizens in another 
governmental area. Such protectionism interferes with the 

Mtircli sipril, 1941 



free flow of trade and icuds to make prices of protected 
goods and services higher than they would otherwise be. 
The smaller the area and population around which these pro- 
tective barriers are set up, the greater the handicap to con- 
sumers is likely to be. The archetype of trade barriers is 
the tariff on foreign products. 

"In recent years a complex mass of restrictive taxes and 
regulations has been imposed by the states and local gov- 
ernments. This development has now reached such a stage 
as to cause serious concern to citizens in this country who 
see in this process the disintegration of the United States 
as a great free trade area within its own boundaries." 

In an address at the Tax Institute symposium on trade 
barriers, Prof. F. Eugene Melder of Clark University de- 
scribed the "vicious circle" leading to the resort to interstate 
barriers : 

"Unstable economic conditions cause state revenue 
sources to dry up and, at the same time, cause state func- 
tions to be expanded. The states then tax consumers with 
high consumer taxes, which encourage consumers to seek 
means of evasion or force curtailment of their purchases. 
Then the states must tax again to prevent evasion, and to 
protect their revenues, with the result that the free flow of 
goods in interstate commerce tends to be impeded, it be- 
comes more difficult to do business, and business conditions 
tend to become more unstable, as larger portions of con- 
sumer purchasing power are drained off in regressive forms 
of taxation. The circle is completed in that unstable busi- 
ness conditions arise from state attempts to increase stabil- 
ity of revenues." 

Another recent issue of Tax Policy was devoted to Debt 
Limits. "What has been the value of debt limits?" is asked 
in this issue, and the answer follows : 

"Well, just about that of the Maginot Line. Taxpayers 
have concentrated on what they thought was an impregnable 
fortress and then gone to sleep behind it. The practice of 
writing rigid debt and tax limits into state constitutions is, 
to a large extent, an example of civic laziness. It is easier 
to write in constitutional limits, which will (it is fondly 
hoped) take care of the problem of governmental extrava- 
gance once and for all, than to be bothered with the con- 
stant attention to governmental problems and constant ad- 
justment to changing conditions. Hence limitations! Wre 
written into the constitution. But when they become un- 
workable, means of escape are added; then new limits are 
set up ; and so on and on until finally the network of regula- 
tions affecting local financing becomes a crazy patchwork 
in which it is practically impossible for the citizen (or even 
the governmental official or research bureau for that matter) 
to discover what is what." 

Tax Policy compiled from headlines in the New York 
Times the rise in the public debt during the last decade. The 
picture looks like this : 

Dec. 31, 1933 PUBLIC DEBT RISES TO $23,534,115,771 

$27,005,438,125 TOTAL 

FIGURE AT $28,478,663,924 

Dec. 2,1935 DEBT OVER $30,000,000,000 

Mar. 12, 1936 PUBLIC DEBT RAISED TO $31,400,000,000 


Dec. 14, 1936 FEDERAL DEBT SET AT $34,232,200,000 

Mar. 3, 1937 NATION'S DEBT RISES TO $34,600,780,711 


Apr. 2, 1939 FEDERAL DEBT GOES PAST $40,000,000,000 

Jan. 4, 1940 DEBT $41,942,456,008 ON DEC. 31 

July 4, 1940 NATION'S DEBT NOW IS $42,967,000,000 



And so the Tax Institute proceeds in its attempt to take 
the mystery out of our complicated tax structure. As one 
of the members, Mark Eisner, humorously put it, "Our 
role must be ... to reyeal the system in all its creaking 
nakedness so that all may gaze at it and know it and 
perhaps even do something about it." 

The idea behind all this is that it is the duty of citizens 
in a democracy to keep informed on public finance that 
it is their concern. Says Dr. Walker: "In a totalitarian 
government the dictator can dispose of people's lives, labor 
and money as he sees fit, and public information on taxes 
and expenditures would be of little use, even if it could be 
made available. But in a democracy where the citizens have 
the ultimate responsibility for the financing and administra- 
tion of government, accurate and unbiased information is 
fundamental to the efficient functioning of democracy. If 
the Tax Institute can furnish such information in ever-in- 
creasing measure to an ever-increasing number of citizens, 
it will have performed a useful function." 

E art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose 
as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the 
least possible amount of hissing. 




March April, 1941 

The Power to Tax 

The U. S. Supreme Court Reverses Itself 
to Oblige the Landlords 


ON February 10, 1941, unnoticed by most newspapers, 
the U. S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a re- 
hearing in the case of Pacific National Bank v. Merced 
Irrigation District, an event which involves fundamental 
economic and governmental policies far beyond the im- 
mediate facts. It marks the complete abandonment by our 
highest Court of the doctrine of dual sovereignty, as it had 
been interpreted by that Court in scores of previous deci- 
sions, ever since McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). 

In a nutshell, it means that the sovereign power of the 
States to tax the value of land is no longer sovereign, but is 
subject to interference, regulation and control by Congress. 
The decision of the Supreme Court in Pollock v. Farmers 
Loan & Trust Co., which holds that Congress cannot tax 
land values, except subject to the rule of apportionment 
(which means Congress cannot tax real estate), is still in 
effect and has not been modified in the least by any subse- 
quent opinions. But, although Congress cannot tax the 
rental value of land, it can now interfere with the right and 
duty of a State to tax land values, where the State has au- 
thorized one of its governmental agencies to borrow money 
and pledge the future revenues from taxes as security for 
the money borrowed. 

In Ashton v. Cameron County the Supreme Court in 
1937 held squarely that the Constitution grants the Congress 
no such power, under any clause in the Federal Constitu- 
tion, and that "Neither consent nor submission by the States 
can enlarge the powers of Congress." The Court also said 
in the Ashton decision, "Our special concern is with the ex- 
istence of the power claimed not merely the immediate 
outcome of what has already been attempted . . . The power 
'to establish . . . uniform laws on the subject of bankrupt- 
cies/ can have no higher rank or importance in our scheme 
of government than the power 'to lay and collect taxes'. 
Both are granted by the same section of the Constitution, 
and we find no reason for saying that one is impliedly lim- 
ited by the necessity of preserving independence of the 
States, while the other is not." 

The Merced Irrigation District of California, which peti- 
tioned for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act, refused 
to accept the Ashton decision as binding on it, and took its 
case to the Supreme Court, which denied the Merced Dis- 
trict's petition. 

But landlordism never gives up. It was no time until the 
forces were set in motion to get Congress to amend the 

Bankruptcy Act regardless of the fact that the Supreme 
Court held in the Ashton case that Congress was wholly 
without any power under the Constitution to subject the 
taxing power of the State to the Bankruptcy clause in die 
Federal Constitution. With brief hearings in one Committee 
only, and without debate or even a record vote in the House, 
the amendment (11 USCA 401-404) was gotten through 
the Congress and signed by the President. It omitted any 
mention of State consent, while the former law did call 
for State consent. The first test case under the new law was 
decided against the Federal Government by the U. S. Dis- 
trict Court, and the Government appealed direct to the Su- 
preme Court. The lower Federal Court construed the Ashton 
decision as controlling, but the Supreme Court, with sev- 
eral New Deal appointees, made an about face and reversed 
the District Court, in U. S. v. Bekins. They held the amend- 
ed Act "not unconstitutional". Soon thereafter, the Act was 
further amended by Congress to include counties and cer- 
tain other taxing units of a State, in addition to cities, 
school, road, irrigation and other districts already included. 

This second amendment was signed by the President in 
1940 (HR9139). 

Almost immediately, a number of counties, cities and dis- 
tricts of many kinds began filing petitions under the amend- 
ed Act, mainly those of Florida and California, where the 
aftermath of the land speculators was heaviest. The new 
Act differed chiefly from the first in that it had a "separ- 
ability" clause. Thus, the Court might hold the Act valid as 
to some units of a State, and invalid as to others. Meanwhile 
the Supreme Court in California ruled for the first time that 
all the functions of its Irrigation Districts are considered 
"Exclusively Governmental", and that each such District 
and all its properties constitute an indestructible "Public 
Trust" (Enclave) owned by the State, and that the full 
rental value, present and future of the land, or as much as 
may be necessary to repay money lawfully borrowed, is de- 
creed a part of that "Public Trust". Hence if there is any 
kind of local government that cannot be brought under 
bankruptcy, it was clear that these districts or "Enclaves" 
would be held immune. But the Court in finally refusing a 
hearing, on Feb. 10, 1941, has closed our last chance. The 
landlords, having lost out in the Ashton case, can now get 
the ground rent, and the State must step down for them. 

So the rule now stands, as interpreted by our Supreme 
Court, that although Congress is without any power to tax 
land values, it has the power to put the dead hand (mort-i 
main) on the power and duty of a State to levy and collect 
taxes on land values, where the State has pledged such taxes 
as the security for money borrowed by its Governmental 

Also it is now the rule, under existing decisions, that al- 
though the Congress has no power to tax the interest from 

Aldi-cli April, 1941 



county, city 01 UibUia bonds, it has the power to destroy 
the bonds. 

in the Ashton case the Court said: "The difficulties aris- 
ing out of our dual form of government, and the opportun- 
ities for differing opinions concerning the relative rights of 
the state and national governments are many; but for a 
very long time this Court has adhered steadfastly to the 
doctrine that the taxing power of Congress does not extend 
to the States or their political subdivisions. The same basic 
reasoning which leads to that conclusion, we think, requires 
nke limitation upon the power which springs from the 
bankruptcy clause." The Bckins decision, hereinbefore cited, 
upsets this, utterly. 

In the Federalist Essays (No. XXXII) by Hamilton ii 
was recognized that the individual States would "possess an 
independent and uncontrollable authority to raise their own 
revenues" on adoption of the Constitution. The only refer- 
ence to Bankruptcy in any of the Federalist Essays is in 
No. XL1I as follows: "The power of establishing uniform 
laws of bankruptcy is so intimately connected with the reg- 
ulation of commerce, and will prevent so many frauds where 
the parties or their property may lie or be removed into 
different States, that the expediency of it seems not likely 
to be drawn into question." 

It is difficult to imagine a State removing its lands to an- 
other State, or being in any sense a "party" intended to be 
reached by that paragraph. Surely, it was never meant to 
include the sovereign power of a State to levy and collect 
taxes on the value of land. But the present members of our 
Supreme Court have interpreted the Bankruptcy Clause in 
the Constitution to be broad enough to include the taxing 
power of the State. 

Obviously, given this new power, the landlords have little 
to fear from any tax on land values they deem too heav>. 
With their influence in local government circles, they will 
seldom if ever experience difficulty in getting local politi- 
cians to side with them, and we may confidently expect to 
see local governments petitioning for bankruptcy whenever 
the tax rate is thought by the private collectors of ground 

rent to be too heavy. 

TN a study on "Urban Planning and Land Policies" recent- 
ly released by the National Resources Planning Board, 
George A. Blair analyzes the probable effects of a graded tax 
on land values for municipalities. His conclusions are : 
1 The burden on vacant land would reduce speculation 
and stimulate building. 2 The burden on business property 
would induce improvements of squalid buildings. 3 Tene- 
ments in larger cities would tend to be improved. 4 Home 
ownership would be promoted, and housing projects would 
be encouraged. Mr. Blair's study was based on data obtained 
from fifteen municipalities. 


Her Economic Background 


ONCE again in her long history, Greece is indicating to 
her wavering neighbors that there is another answer 
than unconditional submission to be given to the all-levelling 
march of empire and to the threat of devastating weapons. 

While the immediate outcome is still uncertain, the world 
has been inspired to witness a new Thermopylae, another 
Marathon, a second Salamina. 

But these are military and political matters. Though they 
are more spectacular, behind them lies the economic ques- 
tion. What is the economic background of Greece? To un- 
derstand this question, it is necessary to delve into the Greek 
tradition leading up to the present. 
* * * 

After many centuries of tithe-collecting governments, 
after Hammurbian, Egyptian and Mosaic legislations in the 
near East, after Aegean and Homeric rulings in Greece, 
there arose Lycurgus, the man whom the Delphic Oracle 
pronounced as "god rather than man." Lycurgus gave his 
laws to Sparta, the forerunner of totalitarian governments. 
The laws were a multitude of minute prescriptions, concern- 
ing not only landed property and government, but also the 
organization of the family, the education of the children, 
private life itself. 

Sparta was a military community, and the Spartans con- 
stituted a permanent army. At his birth, the Spartan was 
examined by a council, and only if found physically fit was 
he given to his mother. The Spartan's birthright was 17 acres 
of the public land. At the age of seven his formal education 
began. He was introduced into a group of children who 
were led by a boy distinguished for his intelligence and valor. 
Physical training occupied the chief place in his education. 
Girls went through the same physical training as the boys. 
At twenty the Spartan entered the army ; at thirty he became 
a citizen, but was obliged to coninue his military life. 

In addition to the soldiers, the mass of Spartan popula- 
tion consisted of perioekes (neighbors), who were nominally 
free men; helotes, servile peasants, though not slaves; and 
pure slaves, who are rarely mentioned by ancient authors. 
The perioekes, permitted to own land in certain areas, prac- 
ticed agriculture, trade, the arts and manufacturing. Helotes 
were similar to the Medieval feudal tenants, not permitted 
to leave the land they cultivated. 

Quite a different set of laws from those of Lycurgus were 
those of Solon, the archon of Athens, to whom his fellow 
citizens entrusted (in 594 B. C.) the formulation of laws 
which should reconcile the nobles and the people. Besides 
his more transient measure (seisachthia) for settling the dis- 



March April, 1941 

proportionate debts of the indigent population, Solon pro- 
mulgated the laws which formed the constitution of the 
Athenian state, the "fatherly policy" of the golden age of 
Greek democracy. 

Plutarch relates as follows: "As Solon intended to leave 
the government in the hands of the well-born, and at the 
same time also to allow the common people to participate, 
he took as the basis the fortune of the citizens. First class 
citizens were those who produced five hundred bushels of 
produce; these were called pcntakosiamedimnes. As second 
class citizens he chose those who were able to feed a horse, 
or to produce three hundred bushels; they were called 
'horsemen.' The third class were called zeugites, and their 
measure was two hundred bushels. The rest were all called 
thetes; they were not allowed to rule, but could participate 
as hearers in the Assembly and the Tribunal." 

Thus the participation in the administration of the state, 
its duties and the obligation to defend it, seemed fitting to 
Solon to rest proportionately on the landed gentry. The 
pentakosiamedimnes could aspire to the highest place in gov- 
ernment the position of archon. Their duties were to pay 
naval expenses, and to serve in the cavalry. The second class 
citizens had to furnish military equipment and also to serve 
in the cavalry. The third class citizens formed the infantry. 
From the ranks of the second and third classes came the 
employees of the state. All the others, the thetes, even the 
merchants and manufacturers, were land-poor or landless, 
and had no participation in public service, neither did they 
have any taxes to pay or military services to fulfill. 

It can be seen that the most important qualification for 
sharing the duties and privileges of government was the 
ability to produce dynamenos. Thus, the fertility of the 
land, not the extent of the property nor the investments 
of labor and capital, was the measure of advantages and 
obligations. This subtle distinction has been neglected by 
most economists. That Solon made the distinction is inter- 
esting from Georgeist point of view. It is also significant 
that Solon abolished the term telos (taxes), and spoke of 
the obligations that had to be paid to settle the budget as 
litourgies (people's works). One is reminded that modern 
Danish legislators avoid the term "land value taxation," 
and refer to the public collection of rent as Grundskyld 
(ground debt). 

Once again in the tenth century A.D. the then Greek 
Asia Minor furnished a sample of the combination of mil- 
itary service and landownership. The Byzantine emperors 
Leo III, Romanes, Phogas, Tsmiskis and Basil II, settled 
in their conquered territory the akrites, those valiant war- 
riors who helped them recapture the Eastern Roman Empire 
from Sicily to the Caucasus, from the Adriatic to the Indian 

This commendable sort of feudalism was accompanied by 

a prohibition on large landowners to buy out the holdings of 
the small peasantry. Even more than that, the allilenyyon 
(mutual warranty) made the large holders responsible for 
the arrears in taxes of their smaller neighbors, so that they 
were interested in the highest degree in helping these poorer 
fellows to make their way. 

Over a thousand years later 1923 Greece delivered a 
blow to the Malthusian theory of overpopulation. In that 
year Turkey exchanged her Orthodox Greek population 
with the Mohammedan population of Greece. The land dis- 
tribution that Greece administered for this influx of popu- 
lation the sort of distribution which Henry George discour- 
aged is perhaps the only case in which such a method suc- 
ceeded, because it was ethically motivated and was attended 
by economic as well as nationalistic considerations. 

In other countries, land distribution and movement of 
peoples has failed, because there were usually little other 
than political motives. To quote only one example : Czecho- 
slovakia, which distributed 28% of its land to the Czech 
legionnaires, increased its population by 10% ; but the peas- 
antry decreased by 1%. The bill was paid in September, 
1938 and March, 1939, when the frustrated Slovakian, Pol- 
ish and German populations took their revenge. 

The Greco-Turk exchange of population increased the 
population of Greece by 47%. This resulted in a 40% in- 
crease in the corn fields, a 67% increase in the vineyards, 
a doubling of oil and olive crops and sheep breeding, a dou- 
bling of imports, and a tripling of tobacco crops and general 
exports. Notwithstanding this brilliant effect of the in- 
crease of population, the Malthusian theory is so deep-rooted 
in the minds of the legislators that no attempt was made to 
attract the Greek population of other neighboring countries, 
or to encourage "foreigners" who desired to settle in Greece. 
The attitude of the legislators also causes them to tax heavily 
the products of labor and to hamper trade by "protective" 
duties and other restrictions. If only they would return to 
the policy of Solon ! It is perhaps a small consolation that 
Greece has been the first country to be officially represented 
at a Henry George Congress the International Conference 
at Copenhagen in 1926 and at Edinburgh in 1929.* 

Let us hope that Metaxas' successor, Mr. Corizis, who be- 
gan his ministry by suppressing the bank-depot restrictions, 
will not fail to restore to Greece a fuller economic freedom 
after the end of the present ideological struggle. The mod- 
ern form of the Solonian tradition, which Greece so sorely 
needs, would be a single tax on land values and free trade 
in its fullness. 

*Mr. Giannelia was the official representative of the Greek gov- 
ernment at these two Conferences. 

A FREE COPY of LAND AND FREEDOM is an invitation 
-*"* to become a subscriber. 

March April, 1941 



Rent and the Tax Fund 



JTIHE question whether the public collection of land rent 
* would, if adopted, yield an adequate public revenue, 
presents one of those queer cases which sometimes occur 
in a controversy where neither proponents nor opponents 
seem able to say anything enlightening. On the one hand, 
the discovery of a rent fund so clearly created by society- 
at-large and so perfectly adapted to collection by society 
for its common needs, falls in so aptly with what we feel 
ought to be, that its existence seems to be a providential 
arrangement of nature, and the advocate of rent for 
revenue feels something like an irritation at the question, 
as though he had been asked to demonstrate the obvious. 
On the other hand, a hostile critic who in studying Henry 
George's analysis of the economic system has been irritated 
by the feeling that it is too thorough, too rounded that 
it leaves too little necessity for independent thought to be 
a sound generalization of the actual visible chaos of social 
conditions, cannot help wondering if the identification of 
public revenue with the unearned increment is not sus- 
piciously facile ; he cannot find means to refute it, but he 
feels that the apt presence of the rent fund may be no 
more than a coincidence ; and in the absence of any indi- 
cation of relation between the rent fund and the public 
revenue, that sense of a coincidence seized and exhibited 
as an argument, increases and buttresses his whole vague 
suspicion that the entire analysis is opportunist. 

Some Georgeist men appear to concede the point. Pro- 
fessor Harry Gunnison Brown in his book, "The Economic 
Basis of Tax Reform," seems to lean towards the view 
that the rent fund may be insufficient for tax purposes. 
J. F. Muirhead writes in his "Land and Unemployment": 
"It is doubtful whether (as conditions now are) this (the 
belief that the land value tax would make all other taxes 
useless) would prove to be correct." These writers take 
the practically satisfactory view that it is immaterial 
whether the fund is fiscally adequate or not, as in any 
case it still remains to the community to impose what addi- 
tional taxes may be necessary. But this solution fails to 
still the theoretical question. Is there any reason to think 
that the rent fund may be equal to the tax requirements 
of government? 

Clearly, nothing short of a careful survey which calcu- 
lated the actual total of land rent over a given period of 
time and collated this with the total public revenue for 
the same period, would be competent to direct an intelli- 
gent estimate upon the subject. And if such a survey 
showed (what is incredible) that the public revenue ex- 

ceeded rent, the fact could not be held as conclusive evi- 
dence that the public collection of land rent and the aboli- 
tion of all other taxes would result in a public deficit; 
since the disciple of Henry George holds that if this reform 
were instituted it would modify existing land values, in- 
crease the sum of collectible rent by increasing production, 
and permit important savings in governmental tax ma- 

However, in the absence of any such reliable scientific 
survey as a starting point, is there any line of intuitive 
reasoning that will reveal a ground for believing that a 
confiscatory tax on land rent will be sufficient for the 
needs of government? 


There is, to begin with, the fact that the land lies at the 
foundation of the production out of which taxes must be 
paid in any event access to the land is a preliminary 
condition in default of which production cannot occur at 
all ; so that consequently the proprietor of the land, whether 
he be a private person or a government (assuming the 
land to be the monopoly of either), can demand and get any 
terms for provision of such access as he may choose to 
impose, short of the absolute starvation of labor and 
destruction of capital. A government (as the absolute 
owner of land), in laying a land value tax could certainly 
collect whatever impost, less than the total product of 
industry, it wanted to collect, without troubling itself 
about economic theory, and this tax would undoubtedly 
be rent, which is whatever the landowner can extract from 
the user of land. Public authority might, from its vantage 
ground as the universal landlord, exact from producers 
the whole substance of their production except a bare 
maintenance wage as the condition on which they might 
be allowed to get anything for themselves at all. The 
question here, however, is as to whether land value taxes 
sufficient to support government must be so extortionate as 
to throttle industry. 

The share of the produce the government might take 
without hampering production more than it is now ham- 
pered is greater than the share it actually does take now ; 
for the present burden upon production is equal to the 
weight of present government revenues plus that of the 
present revenues of landowners, and all of the tax burden 
that is not borne by rent must fall as a check upon pro- 
duction. Evidently, then, a governmental budget equal to 
the present one might be collected as a land value tax 
without impoverishing industry more than it is now im- 



March Afrif, 1941 

poverished. If the present budget is greater than the 
actual rent fund, then such an imposition must absorb the 
whole of economic rent and something besides. Never- 
theless, in so absorbing the whole of rent it would have 
eliminated the landlord's share ; and the sum which pro- 
ductive industry would be required to make up would be 
less than it now contributes by an amount equal to the 
rent fund. 

Public revenue requirements are either less than, equal 
to, or greater than the rent fund. If they are greater than 
the rent fund, their collection through a land value tax must 
destroy private property in land, and their total weight upon 
wages and interest must be less than it is now by the amount 
of present land rent. If they are less than rent their full 
weight might be taken off industry and imposed on rent, 
still leaving a surplus for landowners. In either case there 
must result an increase in the earnings of producers. And 
if public revenue requirements are neither less nor greater 
than the rent fund, they must be equal to it. 


The question of a surplus for landowners does not trouble 
the Georgeist it is a condition that could be remedied by 
fiat. If rent exceeds public revenue, the revenue may be 
easily increased until the excess disappears, and in the 
words of Henry George, "This is so easy and natural a 
thing that we may take it as included in the proposal to tax 
land values." However, this reads like a cynical inference 
as to the inevitable rapacity of political bodies, and the theo- 
retical problem remains. We may ask ourselves: If gov- 
ernmental demands fall short of the entire rent fund, what 
will be the effect of this surplus upon the distribution of 
wealth ? 

It is directly evident that any important absorption of 
rent by government must to that extent reduce the share of 
landowners and the capitalized value of their land. A piece 
of property formerly valued at $10,000 because it yielded 
annual rent of $500 must, if the government collected a 
half or three-quarters of the rent, now be accessible to cap- 
ital and labor at a half or a quarter of that amount ; and the 
result would be a net increase of that sum in the earnings 
of capital and labor, which would no longer be charged with 
that amount in general taxes. 

The general reduction of land values must operate to 
contract the margin of production to increase the quality 
and quantity of land on which labor could be exerted with- 
out payment of rent. Labor as a whole would move up a 
step, abandoning lands better than that the marginal worker 
has been using, and he in turn would move to better free 
fand than he worked before. This increase in free land, 
again, would reduce the amount of taxable land from which 
government derived its revenue. Thereafter, each addition 


to revenue requirements must be met by a further reduc- 
tion in the surplus available to landholders, the further de- 
pression of land values, the increase of free land, and the 
consequent further enhancement of the share of the produ 
available for capital and labor. 

Still another agent in the reduction of land values must 
be the constant prospect of increased public expenses, which 
would destroy all speculative values in land. As the ex- 
pectation of increased rent drives the exchange value of 
land up, so the expectation of diminished rent must drive 
the exchange value of land down. Every one who had land 
would want to get rid of it now for the best price it would 
bring, and the general short selling of land must further 
contract the margin of production, increase free land, and 
so again force an increased concentration of taxation on 
lands still retaining an exchange value, with a further de- 
pression of that exchange value, and on around the circle 
again. We may say then, that in the increasing expensive- 
ness of progressive government and in the speculative de- 
pression of land values there may be seen the principles of 
a tendency connected with the Georgeist system, which, even 
if at the beginning it leaves a surplus of rent, must in the 
long run operate steadily to eliminate that surplus until the 
public revenue and the rent fund approach an equality. 
There is reason, then, for supposing that tax requirements 
probably cannot in the long run be much less than the rent 


Is there reason for believing that tax requirements cannot 
exceed the rent fund? Let us approach the matter in this 

Henry George has shown that any improvement in the 
efficiency or economy of government is equivalent to an in- 
crease in the distributable product of industry. Such an 
increase under the existing scheme must, by the operation 
of the laws of distribution made clear in "Progress and 
Poverty", appear in the economic system as an increase in 
rent or the value of land. If the government remits to John 
Labor, tenant, working on land that yields rent, taxes in the 
amount of one hundred dollars a year, his situation is not 
thereby impioved. The effect of the remission would be to 
increase the yield of his land by one hundred dollars ; and 
his share of that produce is determined by the subsistence 
minimum accepted by Henry Margin, who works for what 
he can get on the best free land he can get, and since the 
latter pays no taxes, he gets no remission. If John Labor re- 
fuses to give up his increase, his landlord will get rid of him 
and call in Henry Margin, who will be glad to take the job 
for very little more than he is getting now. 

By the functioning of this law of rent, any degree what- 
ever of tax economy must enter the social system as an in- 

Afarch April, 1941 



crease in rent. Even if we suppose the miracle of a one 
hundred per cent remission of the present impost, the result 
of the remission could only be to add all present govern- 
ment revenues to the present revenues of land holders. 

But the public collection of land rent has this double as- 
pect: it is not only the imposition of a particular tax, that 
on land values, but it is also a hundred per cent remission 
of all other taxes. Since the remission of those other taxes 
must swell by exactly their own bulk the fund from which 
the new taxes are to be drawn, evidently the single tax on 
land values or the public appropriation of rent must yield a 
revenue at least equal to the present one. So long as the 
decreases of other taxes all enhance rents by just the amount 
of the decrease, the yield of a land value tax can never be 
less than the yield of an alternative tax. The land value 
tax must, indeed, yield a revenue superior to the present 
one by the amount of present unappropriated rent, and 
superior also by the difference in cost of collection ; for of 
course the machinery necessary to collect the single tax 
exists already in form nearly as costly as would be neces- 
sary under the new system, while under the new system all 
other expensive tax machinery might be dispensed with and 
its cost saved. 

Thus since there is reason to believe that, in the long run, 
rent cannot exceed public revenues under the single tax 
system, and reason to believe the revenues can never exceed 
rent under the system, it follows that the rent fund and the 
tax fund tend to be equal. 

When the War Ends 

THE fifty Members of Parliament comprising the Par- 
liamentary Land Values Group in England have a 
plan to meet post-war problems, according to a letter receiv- 
ed recently by Mrs. Anna George de Mille from R. R. 
Stokes, M. P. This plan is set forth in seven articles, as 
follows : 

l.When the war ends concerted efforts will need to be 
made to absorb both munition workers and demobilized 
soldiers into productive work. This will mean embarking 
upon vast schemes of public works which will lead to a rise 
in land values in the immediate vicinity. This value, unless 
otherwise provided, will go to the benefit of local landlords 
and not to the community whose efforts will have gone to 
create the value. A tax on site values will meet this point. 

2. Each one of these schemes will entail the purchase by 
the Government of greater or lesser areas of land. A tax 
on site values will keep the purchase price down. 

3. In addition to public works, private owners of land 
should be made to help by putting all land to its best use. A 
tax on site values of all land whether used or idle will make 

it unprofitable to the landlord to put any land to its wrong 
use or to keep it idle. 

4. Vast credits will be needed to finance schemes of de- 
velopment. From a business point of view there will be no 
difficulty about obtaining such credits provided it can be 
shown that the benefits are going to the borrower thereby 
proving the means of repayment. A tax on site values will 
ensure that the borrower (i.e. the community) gets the bene- 

5. Slums must be removed and Garden Cities built. A 
tax on site values will make it impossible for slum landlords 
to keep filthy dwellings in the midst of towns on valuable 
sites : they themselves will be forced to put up modern up- 
to-date buildings. Equally, such a tax will keep down the 
purchase price of land needed for Garden Cities. 

6. There need be no unemployment and no enforced pov- 
erty arising therefrom if the natural resources are used in 
the common interest. Until these resources are exhausted 
it should be possible to create a state of society wherein 
there are more jobs than people at present this state is 
only likely to arrive in wartime and wherein the laborer 
will get his fair hire. This can be brought about by freeing 
natural resources by the one just, quick and efficacious way: 
taxing site values of all land used or unused. 

7. The Exchequer would ultimately receive at least 500,- 
000,000 a year which now goes tax free to individual own- 
ers. Unemployment and the evils arising therefrom Would 
disappear. There are only three ways of getting the land 
back for the people confiscation, purchase or taxation. The 
first would be unjust to the present owners: the second 
would be unjust to the people who would by such a method 
have to pay interest on the purchase price for ever after: 
the third, a graduated tax over a period of years, would be 
unjust to no one and provision should be made now so that 
it may be made effective as soon as the war ends. 

A LITTLE insight into the land question of Puerto Rico 
* * is gained from a letter received recently by Sr. Rogelio 
Casas Cadilla from Sr. Misruel Guerra-Mondragon, promi- 
nent attorney of San Juan. P. R. We quote from this letter, 
through the kindness of Sr. Casas : 

"The land question becomes more acute daily in Puerto 
Rico. Fortunately, a new party with pronounced agrarian 
principles has just been elected to the legislative chambers. 
Much is expected of them by every one. On the other hand, 
the Washington authorities do not endorse very enthusiastic- 
ally our efforts to break up land monopoly and distribute 
the land among the greatest possible number of farmers. 
Onlv in this manner can land monopoly and absentee land- 
lordism be killed." 



March April, 1941 

The Land of Plenty 

A Playlet in Six Acts 

(Copyright, 1941, by the author) 


OUR play will show you happy times 
In lands of joy and plenty, 
And lands where times are hard, and men 

Are coarse, and comforts scanty. 
Our actors are a burly giant, 

Labor is his name, 
And Capital, a beauteous belle, 

More gracious than her fame; 
A pompous hired man who slips 

Into the master's place 
And gives the master's wealth away 

With more than kingly grace. 
And there's a villain in the play, 

A man who never works, 
But seizes everything in sight, 

And shirks, and shirks, and shirks. 


On the left side is a stony hill on which the Giant and 
the Beauteous Belle have been working hard to make a 
living. On the right is a Land of Plenty, with fertile fields 
and mines of gold, and shady woods, and rivers teeming 
with fish. 

Act I 

On the Barren Hillside. 

The Giant and the Beauteous Belle attired in rags, have 

finished the work of a year. They have sold their scanty 

crops, and they are counting their money. 

BEAUTEOUS BELLE. There it is, two thousand dollars, and 
I can't make it any more. 

GIANT. I've counted it, too, and that's all I can make 
of it. 

B. B. I don't see how I'm going to get through the 

coming year. I need that much for food to 
keep me beautiful, and I'll have to wear calico, 
when I look so stunning in silks. 

GIANT. That's not enough to buy my meals if I have to 
work on this barren hillside. I'll be the 
champion thin man in another year. (Viewing 
the scene to the right.) But what we could do 
with that Land of Plenty, if we could only get 
into it ! 

B. B. Let's risk it next year. 

GIANT. Not a chance. If you look closely you'll see 
lurking Indians among those trees. We couldn't 
bend over a spade without having arrows stick- 
ing out ail over us. We'll get along on the 
barren hillside. 
Enter a Steward, dressed in evening clothes. 

STEWARD. Good day. I'm looking for work. 

GIANT. We're trying to get away from it. But who are 
you, and what can you do? 

STEWARD. I'm a Steward, an Agent, a Government. I 
get things done for my principal. 

B. B. Why can't you work for yourself ? Why do you 

have to be an Agent, or a Government? 

STEWARD. I can't work. No Government that ever lived 
has been able to work. It couldn't stick a spade 
into the ground nor plant a turnip. I am only 
an abstraction, if you know what I mean. And 
still I could be very useful. 

B. B. Well, Mr. Steward, how could you be useful to 

us if we hired you. 

STEWARD. I wish you would call me "Government". Of 
course it means the same thing, but I like it a 
a lot better, and it sounds more dignified. 

B. B. Of course we'll call you "Government" if it 
makes you feel better. But tell us what you 
can do for us. 

GOVERNMENT. Suppose I could arrange it so that you could 
get into the Land of Plenty. Wouldn't that be 
a service? 

GIANT. It certainly would. But we wouldn't dare go in 
there. Those Indians would murder us. 

GOV'T. Let me explain. For Two thousand dollars a 
year I could keep the place clear of Indians, and 
you could work there in peace. 

B. B. That sounds well, but where could we get Two 
thousand dollars. That's all the money we 
have, and if we give it to you we'll starve before 
we get into the Land of Plenty. 

GOV'T. That can be easily fixed. You can make five 
times as much in the Land of Plenty, and you 
can pay my bill out of the earnings. Just give 
me your note for Two thousand dollars. 

GIANT AND B. B. You're hired. And don't lose a minute. 
Let's sign the note. 

Mtircli April, 1941 



Act II 

In the Land of Plenty. 

Labor and Capital hare been in the new place for a year. 
They hare sold their wheat and gold and fish and fruits and 
are counting their money. 

GIANT. (Counting the last of the money) $9,800, $9,900, 
$10,000. Hurrah! What a year we've had! 
We're rich. 

B. B. And what a difference from the barren hillside. 

GIANT. And to think that we owe it all to that Govern- 
ment lad. We'll have to go and tell him how 
much we appreciate him. 
The Giant seats himself on a lotj and looks admiringly at 

the Beauteous Belle. 


here and sit by me. (She sits beside 
Did any one ever tell you you're beauti- 

B. B. 


B. B. 



ful ? 

(Coyly) 1 think you ask that of all the girls. 
I had mighty little time on the barren hillside 
to look at pretty girls. It's so easy to make a 
living here that I had a chance to see how pretty 
you are. 

You're not so bad to look at yourself now. The 
Land of Plenty is certainly agreeing with you. 
(Holding her hand.) Do you think you could 
Enter a zvell-dressed Stranger 

STRANGER. Good morning. A splendid place you have 
here. I hope you like it. 

B. B. Like it? We love it. It's the finest spot on 


STRANGER. I'm glad to hear you say that. I'm the Land- 
lord, and I've come for my rent. 

GIANT. What do you mean rent? 

LANDLORD. The rent is what you pay for living here. 

GIANT. Do you mean that we have to pay you for living 
here ? Why ? 

LANDLORD. I'm the owner of the place. Your agent, Gov- 
ernment, gave me title to it. You're welcome to 
live here, and all I want is the rent. 

B. B. And how much is the rent? 

LANDLORD. Let me see. Your agent told me you could 
make Two thousand dollars on the barren hill- 
side. You made Ten thousand here. I only 
want the difference, Eight thousand. That's 
what my land has made. You see I'm reason- 

B. B. We don't understand why you want Eight 

thousand dollars from us. What did you do for 
us ? What do we get for our money ? 

LANDLORD. You got a fine place to work, where you made 
Ten thousand dollars instead of Two thousand. 

But I'm getting tired of talk. I came for the 
rent, and you'll either have to give it to me or 
get out. My time is valuable. 

GIANT. (Advancing with clenched fists.) You had 
better not waste any more of it around here. 

LANDLORD. Help ! Help Government ! 
Enter Government until a huge club, and with knives stuck 

in his belt. 

GOV'T. What's the matter here? 

LANDLORD. These people refuse to pay my rent, and they 
won't even get out and leave me in peaceable 

GOV'T. (To Giant and B. B.) You can't act that way. 
Why don't you give him his rent and move out 
quietly if you don't want the place ? 

B. B. We heard all the words you said, but they don't 

make sense to us. We can't see why we have 
to pay Eight thousand dollars to this fellow. 

GOV'T. Now listen to me. This man is the legal owner 
of the place. He has a title which gives him 
possession, and I have guaranteed him his rent. 
If you refuse to pay, it will be my painful duty 
to throw you out, even if I have to use a club. 
You have armed me thoroughly, and I must 
uphold the law. And if necessary I shall have 
to seize your Ten thousand dollars to get the 

The Giant and the B. B. whisper together. The B. R\ 
grudgingly hands over Eight thousand dollars and they 
take their way to the barren hillside. 

Act III 

The Giant and the B. B. on the Barren Hillside, sitting on 
the ground with their heads in their hands. They raise their 

B. B. I had a dreadful nightmare. I dreamed we were 

back on the barren hillside. 
GIANT. We are. Look around you. 
B. B. What happened to us? 

GIANT. I don't quite know. I'm still trying to find out. 

Enter Government. 
GOV'T. Goo'd morning. 
GIANT. What ? 
GOV'T. I said "Good morning". 
GIANT. Yes, that's what I thought you said. 
GOV'T. I've come to make arrangements for next year. 

I hope you found the Land of Plenty a pleasant 

place, and safe to work in. You made plenty of 

money there. 
B. B. Yes. But we don't seem to have any of it. 



Afarch April, 1941 

GOV'T. But you made money there, Ten thousand 
dollars, and it only cost Two thousand dollars 
.to make the place safe. And that reminds me, 
my note for Two thousand dollars is due, and 
I'll have to ask you for the money. (The Giant 
and the B. B. rise, holding their heads.*) 
B. B. Do you mean that you want us to pay for work 
you did on a place you gave away to somebody 

GOV'T. You mustn't put it as crudely as that. I only 
want to collect the taxes. If you had studied 
law and government you would know that taxes 
are the only way to support a government. And 
now I shall have to take the taxes. 

Government snatches at the money bag, and the money is 
spilled. The three scramble for it. Government makes off 
with as much as he can pick up hastily, and with his clothes 
badly torn. The Giant and the B. B. count what is left. 
B. B. $1300, $1400, $1500. There goes my dream of 
silks and perfumes and carriages. I can't get 
those things on $750. 

GIANT. You'd better forget your dream of silks and 
carriages and $750. The $1500 wouldn't buy 
what I need to eat, and the most I can spare 
you is $500. 

B. B. You brute ! You don't need anything but some 
coarse food and some cheap clothes, and I need 
delicate food and pretty dresses. $500 wouldn't 
even cover me decently. 
GIANT. Well, $500 is all you're going to get. 

The B. B. snatches at the money bag, and the Giant takes 
it from her. She scratches his face and pulls his hair. He 
throws her into a bramble bush. The money has been scat- 
tered, and they scramble for it. 

Act IV 

The Land of Plenty. 

The Landlord, richly dressed and loaded with jewelry, is 
sitting at a well-stocked table under the shade of a tree. 
Enter Government, in torn clothes. 

LANDLORD. Good morning. What's happened to you? 

GOV'T. I've been trying to collect taxes from the Giant 
and the Beauteous Belle, and they almost pulled 
the clothes from my back. I got only $500. 

LANDLORD. Pull out a chair and make yourself comfortable. 
There's plenty to eat, and you'll find this wine 
excellent. You'll need something to brace you 
up before you go after the other $1500. (They 
eat and drink, and the Landlord hands out 


LANDI.OKD. Do they want the place next year? 

GOV'T. I didn't get that far. I was lucky to get away 
when I did. 

LANDLORD. The Giant and the Beauteous Belle were always 
like that. No regard for law, and begrudging 
the taxes they owe their government. 

GOV'T. Yes, indeed. Collecting taxes is a terrible job. 
1 hope you will make up the other $1500. My 
note is overdue, and I have a reputation to keep 

LANDLORD. My dear Government, you're fooling. You know 
that I have a deed to the property, because you 
gave it to me yourself, and the rent is mine. 
You are the last person in the world I should 
expect to hear such things from. Let's hear 
no more of it. You have only to raise the taxes 
higher next year. Have another glass of wine. 

GOV'T. I don't think I'll have another glass of wine, but 
I will have $1500. The $2000 note I signed was 
all for your benefit. Nobody but you got any 
good of it, and you are the one who ought to 
pay it all. 

LANDLORD. (Angrily) 1 want to hear no more of that. 

GOV'T. You're going to hear a lot more of it just now. 
And you're going to move out, if I have to help 
the Giant and the Beauteous Belle to move you. 
In fact, the Giant would be glad to do the job 
alone And what fingernails that Beauteous 
Belle has ! 

LANDLORD, Can't you see that there's no sense in my staying 
here if the Giant and the Beauteous Belle can 
refuse to pay my bills? What is a Government 
for except to collect taxes? 

GOV'T. I've had all I want of collecting taxes. Here- 
after I collect my bills from you. 

LANDLORD. I can do better somewhere else. Good-bye. 

Act V 

The Barren Hillside. 

The Giant and the B. B., still in rags, are hard at work 
digging and hoeing. Government enters. The Giant advances 
brandishing a shovel, and the B. B. flourishes a hoe. 

GIANT. Get out. 

GOV'T. Please listen. 

GIANT. (Louder) Get out! 

GOV'T. Please listen to me. I've found a better way of 

doing things. 
B. B. Let's hear what he has to say. Maybe he has 

something good. 
GIANT. All right. But it had better be good. 

March Afrit, 1941 



GOV'T. I told tlie Landlord he would have to pay my 
bill, and that I would have nothing more to do 
with taxes. 

GIANT. What did he say to that? 

GOV'T. He left the place in disgust, and he has gone to 
work somewhere. The Land of Plenty is wait- 
ing for you again, and you'll have nothing to 
pay except my bill for expenses. 

GIANT. You're hired again. Get going. But this time, 
don't forget who is hiring you. 

Act VI 

The Giant and the Beauteous Belle, wearing expensive 
and fashionable clothini/, have finished another year's work 
in the Land of Plenty, and arc counting their money. 

B. B. $0800, $9900, $10,000. Isn't that fine? 

GIANT. It begins to look as if our troubles are over, and 

you'll be able to get your silks and perfumes and 

carriages. And how I will eat ! 

Enter i Government. 

B. B. Good morning! I hope there isn't a landlord 

coming in behind you. 

GOV'T. No fear of that. He's working somewhere now 
for himself. 

GIANT. I hope you brought your bill with you. 

GOV'T. Here it is, for $2,000. 

GIANT. (Counting) $1800, $1900, $2,000. There it is, 
and we never paid a bill more gladly. We have 
$8000 left for ourselves. This Land of Plenty 
is a grand place, and you're not so bad yourself. 

The Giant and the Beauteous Belle and Government join 
hands and dance to this refrain: 

Oh this is the Land of Plenty, and we have no 

taxes here, 
We plant and harvest, sing and dance, we're 

happy all the year. 
We pay for everything we get, and we keep all 

we earn, 

We've lots to eat, and lots to wear, and 
money left to burn. 

Government stands aside while the Giant and the B. B. 
continue the dance. 
GIANT AND B. B. And this is now our wedding day, our 

quarrels are forgot. 
GIANT. And I'll love you 
B. B. And I'll love you 
GIANT AND B. B. Till water is no longer wet, and fire's no 

longer hot. 

A Tilt at Blackstone 

That so early an American as Robert Coram should perceive 
clearly the injustices of our inherited land laws, at a time when land 
was still a glut in our young country, is noteworthy. In his little 
book, "A Plan for the General Establishment of Schools in the Unit- 
ed States," first published in 1791, his clear reasoning on the befogged 
reasoning of the renowned jurist, Dr. Blackstone, constitutes an im- 
portant contribution to Georgeist literature. Coram writes as fol- 
lows : 

"The only question remaining," says the Doctor, "ib> 
how this property became actually vested, or what is it that 
gave a man an exclusive right to retain in a permanent man- 
ner that specific land which before belonged generally to 
everybody, but particularly to nobody. And as we before 
observed, that occupancy gave a right to the temporary use 
of the soil, so it is agreed upon all hands, that occupancy 
gave also the original right to the permanent property in 
substance of the earth itself, which excludes every one else 
but the owner from the use of it. . . .However, both sides 
agree in this, that occupancy is the thing by which the title 
was in fact originally gained, every man seizing to his own 
continued use such spots of ground as he found most agree- 
able to his own convenience, provided he found them un- 
occupied by any man." 

But the act of occupancy is a degree of bodily labor; that 
is, the occupancy extends 'as far as the labor; or in other 
words, a man has a right to as much land as he cultivates, 
and no more ; which is Mr. Locke's doctrine. This distinc- 
tion is therefore absolutely necessary to determine the quan- 
tum of lands any individual could possess under the laws of 
nature. For shall we say, a man can possess only the ground 
in immediate contact with his feet; or if he climbs to the 
top of a mountain, and exclaims, Behold, I possess as far as 
I can see ! shall there be any magic in the words, or in the 
expression, which shall convey the right of all that land, in 
fee simple, to him and his heirs forever? No; as labor 
constitutes the right, so it sensibly defines the boundaries of 
possession. How then shall we detest the empty sophist, 
who in order to establish his system of monopoly, would 
fain persuade us that the Almighty did not know what he 
was about when he made man. That he made him an ani- 
mal of prey, and intended him for a polished citizen; that 
he gave us bounties in common to all, and yet suffered a 
necessity to exist by which they could be enjoyed only by 
a few. Had Dr. Blackstone been disposed to give his read- 
ers a true account of the origin of landed property in Europe 
he might have said, exclusive property in lands originated 
with government ; but most of the governments that we have 
any knowledge of, were founded by conquest ; property 
therefore in its origin, seems to have been arbitrary. 



March April, 1941 

"But after all," continues the Doctor, "there are some 
few things, which must still unavoidably remain in common : 
such (among others) are the elements of light, air and 

Thank you for nothing, Doctor. It is very generous in- 
deed, to allow us the common right to the elements of light, 
air and water, or even the blood which flows in our veins, 
islackstone's Commentaries have been much celebrated; and 
this very chapter, so replete with malignant sophistry and 
absurdity, has been inserted in all the magazines, museums, 
registers, and other periodical publications in England, and 
cried up as the most ingenious performance ever publish- 
ed. ... We will however never believe that men originally 
entered into a compact by which they excluded themselves 
from all right to the bounties of Providence, and if they did, 
the contract could not be binding on their posterity; for al- 
though a man may give away his own right, he cannot give 
away the right of another . . . The wants of man, instead of 
having been lessened, have been multiplied, and that in pro- 
portion to his boasted civilization; and the fear of poverty 
alone is more than sufficient to counterbalance all the fears 
to which he was subject, in the rudest stage of natural liber- 
ty. From this source arise almost all the disorders in the 
body politic. The fear of poverty has given a double spring 
to avarice, the deadliest passion in the human breast ; it has 
erected a golden image, to which all mankind, with rever- 
ence, bend the knee, regardless of their idolatry. Merit is 
but an abortive useless gift to the possessor, unless accom- 
panied with wealth ; he might choose which tree whereon to 
hang himself, did not his virtuous mind tell him to "dig, 
beg, rot and perish, well content, so he but wrap himself in 
honest rags at his last gasp, and die in peace." It is a mel- 
ancholy reflection that in almost all ages and countries, men 
have been cruelly butchered, for crimes occasioned by the 
laws ; and which they never would have committed, had they 
not been deprived of their natural means of subsistence. 
But the governors of mankind seem never to have made any 
allowance for poverty; but like the stupid physician who 
prescribed bleeding for every disorder, they seem ever to 
have been distinguished by an insatiable thirst for human 
blood. The altars of a merciful God have been washed to 
their foundation from the veins of miserable men; and the 
double edged sword of Justice, with all its formality and 
parade, seems calculated to cut off equally the innocent and 
guilty. Between religion and law, man has had literally no 
rest for the sole of his foot. In the dark ages of Gothic bar- 
barity, ignorance was some excuse for the framing of absurd 
systems; but in the age in which Dr. Blackstone lived, he 
should have known better, he should have known that the 
unequal distribution of property was the parent of almost 
all the disorders of government ; nay, he did know it, for he 

had read Beccaria, who treating upon the crime of robbery, 

"But this crime, alas ! is commonly the effect of misery 
and despair, the crime of that unhappy part of mankind, to 
whom the right of exclusive property (a terrible and perhaps 
unnecessary right) has left but a bare subsistence." 

[The foregoing item is the result of research work on the part 
of our valued correspondent, Emily E. F. Skeel. ED.] 

American Journal of Economics 
and Sociology 

A N OTHER publication is about to make its appearance 
-^*- in the rapidly expanding field of Georgeist literature. 
From the offices of the American Journal of Economics and 
Sociology we have received the following announcement: 

"The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation announces the in- 
corporation of the American Journal of Economics and So- 
ciology. The Journal will be a quarterly publication devoted 
to scholarly papers dealing with the social sciences. The 
directors of the new corporation are Otto K. Dorn, Charles 
Johnson Post, Albert Pleydell, Harry Gunnison Brown, 
George Raymond Geiger, Frank Chodorov, and Will Lissner. 

"The Journal has secured the cooperation of a group of 
distinguished specialists, who will act as an editorial advisory 
board and pass upon material intended for publication in the 
Journal. Will Lissner will be editor, and Frank Chodorov 
business manager ; Miss V. G. Peterson of the Schalkenbach 
Foundation will act as secretary. The Journal's editorial 
office will be at 32 East 29th Street, New York City. 

"All the collaborators in this enterprise will serve without 
compensation. A grant from the Schalkenbach Foundation 
provides for the expense of publication. The first issue of 
the Journal will appear in the autumn of 1941, and quarterly 
thereafter. The subscription price will be $3.00 per annum, 
$1.00 for a single issue. 

"The Journal of Economics and Sociology will be an im- 
portant innovation ; it will be unique of its kind. For the 
first time in history there will be made available to students 
of economics papers by professors and economists of nation- 
al and international reputation, who will discuss economic 
and social questions in the light of Georgeist theory. The 
Journal will not be edited for a popular readership, but 
rather for advanced students and scholars in philosophy, 
sociology, economics, and related fields. 

"A publication of integrity, dignity, and genuine scholar- 
ship must eventually command the respect of the academic 
world, and immensely increase the prestige of the George- 
ist movement. The directors are conscious of their respon- 
sibility, and fully determined to make the most of their un- 
usual opportunity." 

March April, 1941 



The Critics Criticized 


[Tliis is the third of a series of articles by the same author, deal- 
ing with the objections of noted economists to the doctrine of 
Henry George, and the refutation of such objections. The first in 
the series, published in the November-December 1940 issue, an- 
swered the objections of Prof F. W. Taussig. The second was pub- 
lished in the January-February 1941 issue and answered those of 
Prof. H. R. Seager ED.] 

rflHIS article will rebut a unique attack on Henry George. 
*- It was published during the Hewitt-George campaign 
of 1886, and was presented as a combined series of four 
addresses delivered before the Young Men's Democratic 
Club of New York. The book is "Progress and Robbery, 
and Progress and Justice; an Answer to Henry George, the 
Demi-Communist", by J. Bleecker Miller (Baker & Taylor). 
I recommend this book only as a classic of asinine hostility. 
I consider the work worthwhile refuting, firstly because it 
is one of very few books devoted to the sole purpose of 
demolishing Henry George's philosophy; and secondly, be- 
cause the arguments are so typical of modern critics (who 
have not modernized their criticisms of George!). 

The first address is known as "A Property Owner's An- 
swer", and roughly contains the following objections: 

1 No distinction exists between real and personal 

(a) There is no reason for the division between per- 
sonal and real property, on the ground that the former 
is the product of man, and the latter created by God. God 
created personal property as certainly as he did real. 

(b) Labor exerted on land requires compensation in the 
form of the finished product, which includes land. Other- 
wise, a lapidary who has cut and polished a diamond 
would not be entitled to the diamond itself but only to the 
value given by such exertion. 

(c) George admits that there are improvements which 
in time become indistinguishable from the land itself. 
Therefore, compensation would not be paid to labor for 
Digging ditches, roads, bridges, etc., while compensation 
would be paid to labor for building houses, barns, etc. 
Would that be fair or honest? 

(d) Who would pay for such improvements? Would 
it not be the landlords, whose appropriated rent would pay 
for the improvements of other landlords? Literally, his 
greatest advance towards compensating landowners con- 
sists in robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

2 Justice requires landowners keeping their land. 
Where was Henry George and his friends, or their an- 
cestors, when the ancestors of the present owners fought 
the cold, Indians, British, etc.? 

3 There are historical reasons for private ownership 
of land. 

(a) The critic's ancestor financed his tenants while 
they helped clear his land. It was his capital that went 
into such clearing, and helped the tenants to exist. 

(b) If we examine the history of landownership in 
England, we will see that George's theory of an original 
cultivation of land by a community of independent farm- 
ers is a myth, and that the new land was then also settled 
by some man of means, advancing to dependents the sub- 
sistence and implements required during the hard struggle 
of rendering land arable. 

(c) Landowners of New York State were the only 
ones who could vote originally. It was these landowners 
who helped win the Revolutionary War by supplying the 
Continental Congress with equipment the only one of 
the thirteen States of which that can be said. Still, these 
owners were very kind, and were indulgent to universal 
suffrage in New York. 

(d) Washington, Franklin, Madison, Jackson, and 
probably every name which Americans have been taught 
to revere were landowners. 

4 George seeks to confiscate property. 

(a) Even though he says only rent will be collected, 
he is really attempting to do away with the private own- 
ership of land. 

(b) "Taking property" has a bad name in civilized 
countries; even professed criminals prefer to avoid it, 
and to speak of dividing the stuff, the boodle, or the swag. 

5 George is a communist, demi-communist, or socialist. 

(a) George says, in answering critics of Free Trade, 
"... If this is Socialism, then it is true that Free Trade 
leads to Socialism." This shows George's mind to be that 
of an illogical, unpractical, and dangerous fanatic. 

(b) George is a pupil of Proudhon and Considerant, 
the two French communists. George practically copied 
Considerant's teachings, and yet people think that George 
was original. 

The second address is known as "A Business Man's 

6 Land speculators are entitled to their profit. 

(a) If investors and builders do not come to a neigh- 
borhood, can the unfortunate speculator call upon the 
city to take his land at what he paid for it, with fair in- 
terest? If not, why should he be obliged to surrender the 
profit which he has acquired by his superior foresight? 

(b) Speculators do actual work in anticipating the 
trend of popular demand. 



March April, 1941 

(c) There is no difference between the foresight of a 
land speculator and that of a storekeeper. 

(d) A land speculator exercises better judgment in 
determining what land should be used than would the 
community as a whole. 

7 To prohibit real estate profits would lead to an 
eventual prohibition of personal property profits. Why, 
George himself already mentions doing away with patent 
profits ! 

8 There are ethical arguments to justify private own- 
ership of land: 

(a) Title to all real estate could be traced to the Crown, 
which represents the community, and which sold it to 
the landlords for good consideration. 

(b) Landlords had to fight to obtain and keep the land. 
9 It is impossible to tax land values without taking 

improvements into consideration. 

The third address is "A Workingman's Answer" : 

10 The adoption of George's Utopia would lead to a 
lowering of rents and an increase in improvements for 
the workers, which would immediately cause the employ- 
ers to reduce salaries. 

11 Any attempt to adopt the communistic doctrines 
of Henry George would cause infinite harm to the work- 
ers. It would antagonize the powers-that-be. On the othe> - 
hand, if the workers were to adopt the theories of Lassalle 
or Karl Marx, which, all must recognize, have a certain 
amount of justice, the workingmen's lot would immedi- 
ately improve. Henry George even opposes trade unions. 

The last address is known as "Progress and Justice; or, 
The Work for Federalism", wherein the writer endorses 
the theories of Lassalle and Marx, and advocates meliora- 
tive measures, such as laws which would tend to regulate to 
some extent the condition, wages, and health of the work- 


* * * 

I will now endeavor to refute the above criticisms, point 
by point. 


(a) It is true that everything in this universe owes its 
origin to what philosophers call the One. However, for 
practical purposes, we can, and should, make distinctions 
between land: i.e., something which lies outside of man and 
his products, and is untouched by human hand ; and the 
products of man, i.e., visible, material creations upon which 
human labor has been expended. Land as such still remains 
outside of man, though man is surrounded by it, joist as a 
deep-sea diver, who plunges through the water in search of 
pearls, leaves the ocean intact. 

(b) The lapidary who has cut and polished a diamond 
certainly is not entitled to anything more than the value 

given by such exertion. It is ridiculous to suppose otherwise. 
If I give my shoes to be repaired, I don't expect the shoe- 
maker to lay claim to the shoes because of his labor. Tht 
only time the lapidary could lay claim to the diamond is 
when he owned it outright. But such a principle is not ap- 
plicable in the case of the universe. Just imagine an aero- 
plane pilot claiming the cloud because he passed through it ! 
(c) Most improvements can be differentiated from land. 
If some clearing or other similar work is done upon the 
land, however, the tendency in time would be for the re- 
sults of such labor to become blended with land itself. A 
man who sweeps the floor cannot presume to claim the 


The fact that Miller's ancestors fought adverse condi- 
tions, while George's ancestors (supposedly) comfortably 
waited for the result before immigrating, does not essen- 
tially differentiate Miller and George. Were it otherwise, \ve 
might all lay claim to Paradise, because Adam, our common 
ancestor, once lived there. Nevertheless, we ourselves must 
prove worthy to enter Paradise! 

Secondly, the contest is not between Miller and George, 
but between a number of landowners and the rest of the 
community, to the whole of which the land rightfully be- 

Thirdly, Miller proves nothing when he speaks of these 
battles with hardships. Merely the fact that perhaps my 
ancestors also battled them (incidentally preserving their 
own lives) thereby permitting my existence here, is no rea- 
son why / should claim the earth. 

I will answer in a later refutation (see 8) the contention 
that the owners are entitled to the land because they fought 
the Indians, British, etc. 


(a) The fact that Miller's ancestor financed the tenants 
while they cleared the land is no argument. There were 
millions who had no capital when they came here, and who 
still managed to get a living from the land, and who sur- 
vived without any financial help. Would the tenants need 
any "help" if they were free men, working on free land, 
and receiving all they produced? 

(b) If we examine history, as is suggested, we will see 
that it is Miller, not George, who is advancing a myth. In 
primitive communities, the people worked the land jointly, 
and the land was owned by the community, not by any one 
man. But even if it were possible to find private landown- 
ership in early society, that would in no way destroy the 
truth of our theory. 

(c) By admitting that the New York landowners were 
the only landowners who supported the Revolution, Miller 
fouls his case. Landlords as a class opposed the Revolution 
because they were afraid that it would result in a reversion 

March April, 1941 



of land to the people. They were reassured only when the 
Constitution guaranteed their titles. Allowing New York 
landlords to keep their land merely because they supported 
the Revolution is like saying that some slave-owners should 
have kept their slaves because they supported the North, 
which fought for abolition of slavery. 

The fact that the owners were "kind", and "allowed" 
suffrage is tantamount to saying we should venerate a king 
because he is kind, etc. This is to admit that the king could 
(properly?) decide to be unkind, and forbid people to do 
what they want. History shows, however, that the landlords, 
as well as our rulers, were forced to grant universal suf- 
frage because of popular clamor. 

(d) To the example that some of our great men owned 
land, we can add that Washington and Jefferson owned 
slaves, which in no way would justify slavery. That great 
men often share the errors of their day is well known but 
it is no justification for those errors. 


(a) George never denied the motive our critic thinks he 
has discovered to do away with private landownership. In 
fact, he makes that the solution of his problem. Even Millet 
could have read it if he were so minded. 

(b) Land is not property; it is not something which could 
be owned. As a matter of fact, we could apply the epithet 
"taking property" to the landlords. They are the ones who 
"divided the boodle". 


(a) Name-calling is the lowest form of debate. George in 
effect says, "I don't care what you call it, so long as you ac- 
cept it." Taking a passage out of its context, for one's own 
purpose, is a familiar device and a cheap one. 

(b) To call George a pupil of Proudhon is sheer nonsense. 
Proudhon favored confiscation of land and property; not 
only what man cannot own, but what man creates. George 
opposed Socialism; he believed in private ownership of the 
fruits of labor. Proudhon and other Socialists believed in 
a State-controlled society; George opposed State control, 
except insofar as the collection and administration of rent 
required it. Proudhon bewailed the conditions existing be- 
cause of the supposed exploitation of the workers by capital ; 
George shows that the conflict exists between landlords on 
the one hand, and laborers and capitalists on the other. 
Proudhon was the forerunner of Marx, who was a believer 
in totalitarianism ; George was the apostle of freedom, be- 
lieving in free men, free land, free trade, free initiative. 

If George followed Considerant (who, according to Mil- 
ler, advocated public ownership of land, but not public own- 
ership of personal property), that is completely immaterial 
as far as the truth of the arguments is concerned. Spinoza 
followed Descartes' theories, yet his greatness is not thereby 
diminished. On the contrary, he is famed for coordinating 

the latter's principles. Nothing in this world is new. George 
i,;ducd acknowledges his indebtedness to the Physiocrats, 
who preceded Considerant. 

(As a matter of fact, even though Considerant did dis- 
tinguish between real and personal property, he was a pupil 
of Fourier, who believed in the cooperative phalanges, 
which were nothing but socialistic communities, such as the 
one which Considerant established in San Antonio, Texas.) 


(a) This argument could have been used by the murder- 
ous Dillinger. "If I freeze outside a bank," he might have 
said, "and get nothing for my troubles, would the Govern- 
ment pay me for my pains in procuring this blackjack? If 
not, why should I be obliged to surrender my loot, which I 
have acquired by my superior foresight?" 

(b) This really is the same as above. No amount of 
"work" by any speculator could enable him to claim some- 
thing which is not his. 

(c) The difference between a speculator of land and a 
speculator of goods (storekeeper) is in the title. A store- 
keeper can trace his goods to some one who had the right 
to pass them ; but who owned land originally ? 

(d) This argument might be used by a kidnapper. He 
might claim that the parents did not know how to bring up 
the kidnapped child, while he did. As a matter of fact, the 
speculators prevent the use of the land whenever needed 
by members of the community. In a free society, each per- 
son may determine for himself to what use to put any object 
he may purchase, so long as he pays the price. 


The assumption that social ownership of land would lead 
to social ownership of the products of labor is wholly un- 
warranted. The philosophy of Henry George upholds pri- 
vate ownership of the fruits of labor. 

To do away with patent profits is not to confiscate per- 
sonal property, but merely to destroy a monopoly which is 
a cancer upon production. As George puts it : "Every one 
has a moral right to think what I think, or to perceive what 
I perceive, or to do what I do no matter whether he gets 
the hint from me or independently of me. Discovery can give 
no right of ownership, for whatever is discovered must have 
been already here to be discovered. If a man make a wheel- 
barrow, or a book, or a picture, he has a moral right to that 
particular wheelbarrow, or book, or picture, but no right 
to ask that others be prevented from making similar things. 
Such a prohibition, though given for the purpose of stim- 
ulating discovery and invention, really in the long run oper- 
ates as a check upon them." 


(a) The fact that one could trace title of land to a grant 
by the Crown would be no justification for such ownership. 
Firstly, the Crown represented not the community but some 



March April, 1941 

pampered and tyrannical ruler whose whim could decide to 
whom such stolen land could go. Secondly, even the com- 
munity as such cannot alienate land. It belongs to all men at 
all times. As George says, if the community were to deed 
away all the land to one individual, an infant born the next 
moment would have a right to a share of the rent. 

(b) The fact that landlords or their ancestors had to 
fight to obtain and keep the land, is not an argument for 
them, but against them. It clearly traces all land to force 
and conquest. What was won by bloody might could not 
morally be passed on to future generations. Fighting, and 
undergoing hardships, alone, are not sufficient to lay claim 
to land. A robber has no right to his loot merely because 
he underwent considerable difficulty in killing a policeman. 


It is true that land as such cannot, in political economy, 
be considered apart from the process of production. And 
it is true that the demand for land is always based upon the 
supposed profit to be gained from some improvement upon 
the land. But irrespective of how the demand for land 
arises, it will be a demand for the land itself, not for any 
improvement upon the land, and it will be that demand that 
determines the value of the lot. In this way, it is possible to 
tax land values, as distinguished from improvements upon 


An increase in the improvements would not lower wages, 
but on the contrary, raise them. Miller evidently fails to 
understand where wages come from, but, like the little boy, 
imagines that food comes from the grocery. The employers 
as well as the employees would receive improvements, and, 
looking at it from Miller's point of view, we may with equal 
validity say that the workers would then demand higher 
wages because of the higher profits of their employers. 
However, wages do not come from capital. 

Wages would rise for the following reasons: (a) Van- 
ishing of land speculation would throw land open to use, 
thus raising the margin of production, thus raising wages; 

(b) abolition of taxation of the products of human labor 
would mean that much more to be distributed as wages; 

(c) the increased opportunities would result in a greater 
division of labor, and increased production, which in turn 
would lead to higher wages. Is it not clear that if employers 
were to pay employees less than the wages which they could 
obtain for themselves at the margin, it would pay the em- 
ployees to go to work for themselves? With opportunities 
free, that's what they would do unless they were satisfied 
with their salaries. 

Miller is wrong in assuming that rents would be reduced 
under the single-tax plan of Henry George. The greater 
demand for land, due to increased production and better 
opportunities, would raise rents throughout the world. How- 

ever, since rents would be distributed in public benefits, 
this would be a boon to the populace instead of a curse, 
as it is today. 


The possibility that Truth might engender a conflict be- 
tween its followers and those who oppose it, is scarcely an 
argument against it. It is the honeyed argument of the king 
to his slaves that they be docile, or else they might arouse 
his wrath, so that he would no longer throw them crumbs. 

Therefore does Miller advocate meliorative remedies 1 , 
palliatives designed to take the minds of the people off the 
problem which really confronts them, and the solution that 
even "he who runs may read". The kingly crumbs shall not 
satisfy those who want bread. Trade unions have done no- 
thing but perpetrate certain monopolies which thrive in our 
diseased community. They are organizations which breed 
force, which demand higher wages without stopping to con- 
sider where wages come from. In following the lanes of 
obstruction, they create great harm, since they prevent tis 
from seeing the real avenue of progress. 

A piece of classical irony is the final statement by Miller 
that George is a Communist, a fanatic, etc., one whose the- 
ories will destroy our order, and that therefore the workers 
should follow the theories of Karl Marx ! Can it be that 
the powers-that-be see less danger to their privileges in Marx 
than in George ? 

The Poor Children 

fTIAKE heed of this small child of earth ; 

He is great ; he hath in him God most high. 
Children before their fleshly birth 
Are lights alive in the blue sky. 

In our light bitter world of wrong 
They come ; God gives us them awhile. 
His speech is in their stammering tongue, 
And his forgiveness in their smile. 

Their sweet light rests upon our eyes. 

Alas! their right to joy is plain. 

If they are hungry Paradise 

Weeps, and, if cold, Heaven thrills with pain. 

The want that saps their sinless flower 
Speaks judgment on sin's ministers. 
Man holds an angel in his power. 
Ah ! deep in Heaven what thunder stirs, 

When God seeks out these tender things 
Whom in the shadow where we sleep 
He sends us clothed about with wings, 
And finds them ragged babes that weep! 

March April, 1941 



An Interview with Alaska Jane 

A MONO the interesting women in the Georgeist move- 
-*"* ment is Alaska Jane. Of course that is not her real 
name. But to her many friends and enemies in Alaska, 
Canada, New York, Washington, D. C, Kansas and points 
West, Mrs. McEvoy is well known as "Alaska Jane." She 
is an elderly 'hard-boiled" woman; that is, she insists on 
calling herself "hard-boiled." "I got that way from being a 
newspaperwoman," she says. Just the same, there is a kind- 
ly gleam in her eye. 

I had a chat with Alaska Jane in the lobby of the Martha 
Washington Hotel in New York, where she is staying at 
present, right across the street from the Henry George 
School. In her tumultuous career, Alaska Jane was not with- 
out influence in getting this Hotel established. "When I was 
a girl," she said, "women could not get into New York hotels 
unescorted. Whenever I came East, my father would have 
to telegraph a hotel to permit me to register. A group of 
New York women campaigned for a women's hotel. I 
often spoke on behalf of the idea. We believe we influenced 
the establishment of the Martha Washington, New York's 
first women's hotel." 

Alaska Jane was raised in Kansas. Her father was a 
pioneer he was in the Comstock lode in Nevada, sold lum- 
ber via the Santa Fe trail, invested in farming land. Alaska 
Jane remembers her father's and her own introduction 
to Henry George's "Progress and Poverty." "A young 
musician friend of the family used to come frequently. He 
was organizing a musician's union, but due to the crushing 
power of big business, he had to do it quietly. That was 
about the time of the Haymarket riots. This man gave a 
copy of 'Progress and Poverty' to my father to read. My 
father's eyes were not in good condition at that time, so he 
asked me to read the book to him. As I did, he would pause 
at each passage, expounding and explaining the difficult 
parts. He saw it clearly. Since that time both my father 
and myself were confirmed Georgeists." 

In those days, Alaska Jane's father had a little hotel in 
Kansas, at the end of Calamity Branch. "Everybody who 
passed through stopped at my father's place," said Alaska 
Jane, "because we had the only hair mattresses west of the 
Missouri River!" Among the distinguished visitors to his 
hotel were John W. Davis and "Sockless" Jerry Simpson. 
They were both avowed Georgeists. 

"You've met quite a few distinguished Georgeists," I said. 
"Have you ever met Henry George himself?" 

"Yes," replied Alaska Jane. "I met him at Bryan's head- 
quarters in New York. I saw him only a few times. Once 
he introduced me as 'Jerry Simpson's girl.' The outstanding 
thing I remember was a remark he made once. He said: 

'If only I had the time, I would write a book on terminology. 
People do not like to read words they do not understand.' " 

Alaska Jane was quite active in a number of social re- 
form movements. In Chicago there was a great convention, 
in which the question of the United States taking over the 
Philippines was discussed. Alaska Jane was the only wo- 
man at the convention who opposed this imperialistic action. 
As she delivered her speech, she recalls, there was vocifer- 
ous applause every now and then from a corner of the con- 
vention hall. When she was through, she was approached 
by Louis F. Post and John Z. White, who confessed to the 
applauding. "You were making your points," they said, 
"but you were making them so fast that we applauded to 
stop you for a minute or two, so that the audience would 
have time to let them sink in!" 

"You have been associated with so many reforms," I said. 
"I suppose you were connected with the woman's suffrage 
movement ?" 

"Yes, indeed," replied Alaska Jane. "In Kansas I was the 
youngest woman tagging around at the Suffrage meetings. 
Susan B. Anthony called me 'our orphan.' In 1898 I was 
President of the Young Woman's Suffrage Club of Wash- 
ington, D. C. I was the official 'lamp cleaner' for all the 
Kansas meetings ! Back in 1912 I was in the State of Wash- 
ington, where I organized the women for their first vote. 
The state went Democratic for the first time." 

Alaska Jane took her first trip to the territory that gave 
her her nickname in 1910. First in so many things, she was 
the first white woman to enter Kennicott, the copper mine. 
At that time she contributed a series of articles to the New 
York Times on the Pinchot-Guggenheim fight. "Ochs took 
everything I wrote," she said. 

Alaska Jane's chief occupation in Alaska, besides the job 
of newspaperwoman, was in the Bureau of Education in 
various native villages. The natives (commonly called In- 
dians, but wrongly so, anthropologically) learned to trust 
her, and she was always "scrapping" with white men on 
behalf of these natives. She relates this story : 

"One day an Indian woman came to me and indicated 
that her husband, Bob Johnson, was in trouble. I followed 
her and found that her husband had been taken prisoner by 
the new Biological Agent. He had arrested the Indian for 
hunting bear out of season. 'You can't arrest that man,' I 
said, knowing that for the natives the gaming law does not 
hold they must be permitted to hunt all the year round, 
because that's their only source of livelihood. 'Now you mind 
your business,' said the Agent. 'You've been running every- 
thing in Alaska, but you're not going to run my department.' 
Well, they took him to jail. I said to the squaw, 'I'm going 



March April, 1941 

to get Bob Johnson out.' So I went to the prison and com- 
manded the jailer to let him out. There was some lively dis- 
cussion, but I won my point it was never questioned, 

In his "ignorance," it would seem, the Indian cannot un- 
derstand why the resources of nature should ever be un- 
touchable. He simply will not accept a "law" that he can- 
not hunt what, where and when he pleases. Hence the white 
man has been obliged, in Alaska, to make an exception to 
his laws in this case. Lo, the poor Indian! unable to com- 
prehend the benefits to be derived from the white man's 

Alaska Jane spent much of her time in Juneau, where she 
was known as a "holy terror." She explains : "The reason 
I made so much trouble for the politicians at their Council 
meetings, is that I knew the Single Tax. I could analyze 
everything from that point of view, and they were confound- 
ed. They hated me for it." 

"Is there some connection between your reputation there 
and your nickname?" I inquired. 

"Well," she replied, "it began this way. They were build- 
ing a railroad there at that time, and from my knowledge of 
Single Tax I predicted that the road would cost $100,000,- 
000; that they would lose on upkeep. They jeered at that. 
Judge Walker said, 'A woman goes to pieces on figures.' 
Well, that road cost them $200,000,000. But at that time I 
earned the name of 'Calamity Jane.' 

"Then I wrote a series of articles in a local paper. It was 
edited by a woman with Marxian leanings. She complained 
that nobody read her paper. I ventured to pep it up for her. 
So I wrote a lot of local, funny stuff. That gave me the 
name of 'Humorous Jane.' 

"On one occasion, when there was talk of building a 
wharf in town, I lined up with the officials for once. They 
were quite pleased with that, and one of them said, at a pub- 
lic meeting: 'You all know this woman. She's been known 
as Calamity Jane ; and then as Humorous Jane. But tonigh* 
she's our own Alaska Jane !" 

But her agreement with the officials and politicians was 
the exception rather than the rule. There were more com- 
plaints than praises. At a Council meeting in Juneau, one 
of the men exclaimed impetuously, "I'm getting out of here. 
No one can run a caucus meeting with Alaska Jane present." 
To which Jane retorted, "Yes you can, if you'll only take the 
aces out of your sleeves." 

At one time, a Guggenheim attorney had water pipes laid 
through the town of Juneau. When the town made a bid 
for the main, the attorney offered it to them for $50,000. 
At a meeting, the officials decided they couldn't afford that 
amount. Next year the same line was offered for $60,000, 
and was again refused. The next year the price was $75,- 

000. Then the Council began thinking it over. The matter 
was discussed. One of the men said, "The pipes are not in 
good condition." Alaska Jane said, "The condition of the 
pipes makes no difference. We're not buying the pipes, 
we're buying a franchise." "There was no franchise," said 
the mayor. "We just let the attorney have the streets." A 
lawyer said, "Alaska Jane is right. All we're buying is a 

Alaska Jane is actively connected with the Women's Sin- 
gle Tax Club of Washington. She is the Club's President, 
having been elected to that office four times in succession. 
Indeed, Alaska Jane was one of the founders of the Club, 
in 1898. At present the Club is launching an organization 
known as the Women's National Tax Relief Association. 
The Women's Single Tax Club will remain the "mother" 
Club. The ambitious goal of the new Association is to band 
together 50,000 women throughout the country to "lift our 
national debt by the simplest and least painful method." The 
economic reforms advocated by Henry George will be propa- 
gated in this Association. Mrs. Walter J. White is Presi- 
dent of the organization, Miss Alice Siddall is Treasurer, 
and Alaska Jane is the Chairman of the Executive Commit- 

And now for the latest achievement of Alaska Jane. She 
has just finished compiling an exhaustive Concordance of 
"Progress and Poverty." This represents twenty-two 
months of unremitting toil, and it contains about 88,000 key 
words. The purpose is to be able to find the page and exact 
line of any important word or. phrase in Henry George's 
great classic. It is unnecessary to point out the value of 
this work. It is as indispensable as a Biblical Concordance. 

"How did you conceive of this idea of a Concordance?" 
I asked Alaska Jane. 

"The idea first came to me one evening, when I was talk- 
ing to an old-timer in the Georgeist movement. In the course 
of our conversation I used the term 'metayer system.' 
'Where did you get that from?' asked this fellow. 'From 
"Progress and Poverty," ' I replied. 'Nonsense,' he said, 'I've 
been reading that book for thirty years and I never came 
across it.' Well, I had to prove my point, so that night I took 
my copy of 'Progress and Poverty' and looked for 'metayer 
system.' I stayed up all night and couldn't find it. Then I 
decided that we needed a Concordance." 

Alaska Jane believes we ought to do more of this con- 
structive work, rather than quarrel and split over doctrinal 
issues. She berates the "young upstarts" who "just try to 
upset things with their new-fangled theories." 

"The real work before us," says Alaska Jane, "is to un- 
derstand and propagate the philosophy of Henry George. 
Why can't we all pull together for that great work ?" 


March April, 1941 



Art and Society 


fl/TOST people are naturally shocked by the wanton de- 
*** struction of the great masterpieces of art and archi- 
tecture now going on in Europe. But perhaps we would 
not feel as keenly about this specific kind of vandalism if we 
had any reassurance that art as great or greater could be 
created in our present civilization. We would not have the 
same feeling of helplessness or futility. We realize, of 
course, that art or architecture created now would be of a 
different type but \ve do not believe that any art in present 
times could reach the perfection of that older workmanship 
nr have the intense feeling for beauty it expresses. So it is 
true then that when we deplore the destruction of these 
masterpieces we are thinking rather in terms of art than in 
human values. 

But how was it possible to create this art of the past? 
In the centuries when it flourished, particularly in the period 
of the Renaissance, there were wars followed by and pre- 
ceded by conditions of poverty, destruction and famine. 
Then, as now, there were hordes of vandals relatively as 
terrible in kind if not in numbers who swept through the 
existing civilizations. And then as now, art had no part 
in the life of the average human being. The great artists 
of that time lived on a superstructure of want and misery. 
There was tyranny, poverty, besides actual human slavery 
which held the mass of the people in the most miserable 
conditions of living. But the great artists and craftsmen, 
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and many others almost 
?s famous were assured of a certain economic security by 
royal and princely patronage. The rulers, kings and princes 
of both the state and church drew their incomes from the 
lesser nobles and the people by taxes and tribute through 
force and fraud. The art and architecture of those periods 
were created under these conditions. The monasteries 
where painting and sculpture were practiced by the monks 
were subsidized by royalty and nobility because as they up- 
held the church, the clergy in turn, upheld the state. Both 
drew their incomes from the poor and ignorant who feared 
their power. 

Now when we are shocked by the destruction of this 
great art of the past we are emphasizing the wrong values. 
What should really shock us is the existence of conditions 
in our so much later and supposedly advanced civilization 
which still produces hordes of vandals who increasingly de- 
stroy both life and art. So while there can be no ignoring 
of what is happening in Europe, we need not include our- 
selves emotionally in the general chaos, if we think now in 
constructive terms. What has happened now will continue 
to happen until we change conditions. It is not the result 

of something which has occurred this year or last year ; 
it is the result of world conditions which have existed for 
centuries, and could have no other outcome. 

But there is still possible another condition of society 
based on economic cooperation which, through equal free- 
dom for all, will raise the level of human values. With such 
a change will follow the opportunity for the expression of 
beauty in painting or architecture which we call art. For 
though our standards of beauty may change there will prob- 
ably still be the necessity for some expressions of values 
which reach beyond the actualities of life and relate each of 
us to a more general consciousness. 

Until we have such a society, the artist has little more 
than a choice between the mob and the ivory tower ; between 
being a tool of the forces of despotism and destruction or 
the socially protected artist who gets a living from those who 
exploit the mob. 

Mexican Art 

IN few other countries is art linked so closely with the life 
of the people as in Mexico. 

With the ancient pre-Columbian Mexicans, art was a di- 
rect expression of their ideals and religion. Among the con- 
cepts which were important to them were those of fertility 
and maternity. An oft-recurring theme in the ancient stat- 
ues and reliefs was the mother and child motif. As with 
most other faiths, the Mexican religion held that procreation 
and increase in population were a blessing, not a curse. 

The Spaniards brought with them the European tradition 
of art, as of everything else. The paintings and sculptures 
of the period 1600-1900 are mostly wearisome, stylistic, 
academic works. A refreshing relief from this art is the 
spontaneous and vital art of the peasants the "Folk Art". 
It is the expression of those close to the soil. They painted 
and moulded things real to them the abundance of nature, 
the life of the workers, the simple family life, their deep re- 
ligious faith. Oppressed though they were, their art is now 
recognized as superior to that of their masters. 

In the Folk Art there are hints, now and then, of discon- 
tent at the prevailing contrast between rich and poor. This 
murmur becomes loudly articulate in the twentieth century. 
It is heralded by Posada's bitter protest against oppression 
in his powerful wood-cuts. 

The famous group of modern Mexican artists mostly 
muralists is closely associated with the Mexican Revolu- 
tion. Their art bespeaks the prime importance of the land 
question. Diego Rivera, most prominent of the group, con- 
centrates on the sufferings of the landless peons in his mu- 
rals, and the words TIERRA Y LIBERTAD flare across his 
frescoes. His painting, "Sugar Cane," portrays clearly land- 
ownership as the basis of the exploitation of the peon. 



March April, 1941 

'Willing to Wound, Afraid to Strike' 


THE foundations of a just peace, and expectations of a 
better world, continue to be favorite topics of discus- 
sion in the British press. An important example was the 
letter in The Times of December 21, signed by the Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury and York, Cardinal Hinsley and Rev. 
W. H. Armstrong, Moderator of the Free Churches. It is 
unique to have four such signatures to one document, which 
contained ten essential conditions of peace, the last item be- 
ing: "The resources of the earth should be used as God's 
gifts to the whole human race, and used with due considera- 
tion for the needs of the present and future generations." 

No one could quarrel with this somewhat abstract senti- 
ment so long as no content is imported into it. Its value is 
in the recognition that there is a land question that must be 
settled before peace can come. 

Further significance is given to the dictum by the specific 
suggestions for dealing with the land made by one of the 
signatories, Dr. Wm. Temple, D. D., Archbishop of York, in 
"The Hope of a New World," a reprint of his broadcast ad- 
dresses. Dr. Temple's proposals deserve extended consider- 
ation in an American journal, not only because of the emi- 
nence of the author and his wide influence, but because his 
approach to land reform is so typical of British tendencies, 
revealing as it does, the influence of Henry George's work 
whilst betraying a reluctance to accept his teaching. 

The Archbishop's premises are very near those of Henry 
George. He states (p. 53) : "Thus in the Law of Moses 
purchase of land in perpetuity is forbidden, for the land be- 
longs to God and is granted by Him to His people for their 
use. Now it is the Common Law of England at this moment 
that all the land of England belongs to the King as repre- 
senting the whole community and the divinely constituted 
authority within it. And so-called landowners hold the use 
of the land but not absolute dominion". This of course, is 
pure theory. In practice landowners hold, not so much the 
use of land, as the power to say who else shall use it and on 
what terms, and this power is absolute. 

After stating the principle, Dr. Temple proceeds: "It 
must, however, be recognized that the rural landlord dis- 
charges many social functions, and ownership of agricul- 
tural land, subject to consideration of the public welfare, 
should not be subject to the same restrictions as ownership 
of industrial stocks and shares; moreover, as family tradi- 
tion is in this field a valuable social asset I should personally 
urge the total exemption of all agricultural land from death 

Verily, the voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are 
the hands of Esau. A note is appended to the chapter, sug- 
gesting that it would be quite easy to exempt from death 

duties all land already exempted from local taxation as agri- 
cultural land. American readers may appreciate the fact 
that unused land in Great Britain, however valuable, is sub- 
ject to no taxation except insofar as it is valued for death 
duties purposes and even then the tax is steeply graduated, 
so that one-tenth of an acre worth 5000 belonging to a per- 
son who had no other property would be under a small tax, 
whereas if this 5000 land belonged to a man who had, say, 
property worth 100,000 elsewhere in the country, the tax 
would be very high. Death duties are not the onerous bur- 
den that is often pretended, for an inheritor of a large estate 
may pay the death duty by selling a small strip of his estate 
to builders, and the payment of the duty may be spread over 
a number of years. In a similar way, the British Income 
Tax in its schedules A to E has the so-called "property tax" 
schedule A, excluding the value of all land which is not put 
to any use, however valuable it may be. It is in the rural 
areas with their large county estates that the disuse of valu- 
able land has its worst social consequences, and it is this 
land, already free .from the local taxation imposed upon 
rural cottage property, that Dr. Temple in his capacity as a 
leader of public opinion, would exempt from death duties. 

Urban landlords, however, as distinct from the rural 
species, are to be subject to "gradual elimination .... by 
drastic death duties." Willing to wound but afraid to strike, 
we must be drastic but only gradually! 

English single taxers have always pointed out the defects 
of the death duty legislation, and have had something to put 
in its place. Dr. Temple cannot be ignorant of this alterna- 
tive to death duties and of the true application of the Law 
of Jubilee, for on p. 59 he says: "A vivid account of the 
Mosaic Legislation concerning Economics can be found in 
My Neighbor's Landmark by Verinder, lately republished 
by the Henry George Foundation." He goes on, indeed, to 
advocate a kind of inversion of the taxation of land values, 
when, after stating that he would forbid the sale of urban 
land except to the public authority, he proceeds: "Thus, for 
example, the London County Council would in course of 
time become the ground-landlord of London, and could (hen 
use the ground rents for public services . . ." (Italics mine). 
Can the Archbishop really be unaware of the fact that the 
London County Council does not want land in their area 
to be dealt with in this way; that, on the contrary, the L.C.C. 
have moved heaven and earth, as recently as 1936, to secure 
powers to levy "rates" (local taxation) on land values? (This 
was described at length by the present writer in his article, 
"The Battle of the Towns," LAND AND FREEDOM, Nov.-Dec. 
Dr. Temple's plan, to buy first and then use the rent of 

March April, 1941 



land for public purposes, is identical with all land-national- 
ization-by-purchase schemes, although he repudiates the 
land-nationalizers. We may ask all those who would take- 
still more from the over-burdened taxpayer in order to buy 
land, how this accords with the principle that the resources 
of the earth are God's gift and that the land belongs to God. 

When the Archbishop shrinks from possible identification 
with the Henry George cause, like Naaman at the waters of 
Jordan, it appears to be because he desires the "safeguard- 
ing of tradition and of family connection with agricultural 
land", and "the many social functions discharged by the 
rural landlord". This function of rural county magnates in 
an earlier age has been vividly described by a Conservative 
historian, Arthur Bryant, in "English Saga 1840-1940", in 
which he says : 

"The real rulers of England were still the greater squires. 
In the course of a century and a half of monopoly and 
splendid unblushing corruption, they had inch by inch pared 
the powers both of the Crown and of the smaller squire- 
archy. In the latter eighteenth century, in their hunger for 
ever more land, they had even destroyed the English peas- 
antry .... 

"One sees them in the tell-tale pages of Mr. Creevey; 
with their rentals multiplied out of all measure by improved 
agriculture and urban expansion but already divorced by 
their staggering wealth from that close contact with reality 
and their humbler fellow-citizens which had enabled their 
forebears to obtain power." 

These quotations give point to my article, "County versus 
Country" (LAND AND FREEDOM, Sept.-Oct., 1940), and are 
a corrective to Dr. Temple's too generous estimate of the 
place of the rural landlord in the scheme of things. 

It is certainly unusual for an Archbishop to descend into 
the economic arena with specific proposals. "The best sug- 
gestion known to me here," says Dr. Temple, "is that a gen- 
eral valuation of all land should be made as soon as possible, 
and no sale at a higher price than this, nor rent at more than 
a fair percentage of this, be permissible, unless it can be 
shown that an increase in value has been caused by the ac- 
tion of the landlord." This is put forth to thwart unreason- 
able expectations, such as that of "turning to private profit 
the additional value which land may acquire through the 
enterprise of others or through communal activity." Here 
is a recognition of the fact that land values are due to com- 
munal activity and also that under private ownership there 
are expectations and speculations in the rise of land values, 
confirming Henry George's chapter on "The Effect of the 
Expectation Raised by Material Progress," in "Progress 
and Poverty", Book IV. "Hence", says George, "from the 
fact of speculation in land, we may infer all the phenomena 
which mark these recurring seasons of industrial depres- 

The obvious solution is ignored by Dr. Temple save toi 
a hint about Verinder and Henry George, and in its place 
is set up something that reeks of the discredited Lloyd 
George increment legislation of 1909-10. We may take 
leave of the Archbishop with the most revealing Quotation 
of all from p. 59 : "But there should be no mere confiscation. 
The new order must not be introduced with callous indif- 
ference to reasonable expectations encouraged by the old 

Callous indifference forsooth ! Is the new order to be in- 
troduced with callous indifference to the misery, poverty 
and continuous robbery caused by the private monopoly of 
land in town and country? What about the reasonable ex- 
pectations of the common people everywhere that funda- 
mental justice shall be done and the earth made free to all 
on just terms? 

Certainly the expectations of land monopolists have been 
stimulated by all the talk of new orders and reconstructions. 
Speculation in bombed sites is known to be rife. So much 
so that the Government has had to take action by setting 
up a Committee of five to consider as a matter of urgency 
the means of preventing speculation in land in bombed areas. 

British followers of Henry George have not been unfaith- 
ful or unfruitful in their work. But it seems as though God 
had hardened the hearts of priests and rulers until, plague 
following upon plague, they shall at last allow the people to 
have an entrance into the promised land. 

Land Speculation Impedes Defense 

[Reprinted from The New York Sun] 

*T1HE United States Government's program of building 
a string of air bases in the West Indies is receiving 
setbacks as a result of the operations of land speculators in 
areas adjacent to suitable sites, according to information 
received here (London). 

It is understood that speculators operate in the guise of 
tattoo artists, photographers, tobacconists, dance hall oper- 
ators and the usual camp followers. They flock to the neigh- 
borhood of military depots and proposed bases and buy op- 
tions on acreage from the simple farmers. 

The swap of destroyers for authorizations to build bases 
on British territory was made with the understanding that 
the United States would acquire the necessary land, paying 
suitable compensation to the local owners. While the most 
likely land formerly was most reasonably priced, it is un- 
derstood that intelligent owners immediately boosted their 
prices sky high, while the land sharks besieged the unintelli- 
gent peasants, buying valuable options for a few dollars 
apiece. One large landowner is understood to be asking $5,- 
000,000 for certain territories devoted to tropical produce. 



March April, 1941 

Our Canadian Letter 

THE Conference of Dominion-Provincial premiers, con- 
vened in Ottawa last January to consider the report of 
the Rowell-Sirois Commission, split on the second day of its 
deliberations. Three provinces Ontario, Alberta and Brit- 
ish Columbia would not enter into discussions on the basis 
of the plans of constitutional changes proposed in the Com- 
mission's report, so Prime Minister Mackenzie King ter- 
minated the proceedings forthwith. While official consider- 
ation of the report is shelved for the duration, it will be dis- 
cussed on the hustings, for the Manitoba legislature has been 
dissolved, and a provincial election called for April 22nd. 
The Manitoba premier was the most ardent proponent for 
carrying the Sirois proposals into immediate effect. It is 
a moot question whether the findings of the Commission 
arose out of its report, which provides a great deal of am- 
munition that Georgeists can use to advantage against the 
present fiscal system. It is to be hoped that much of the 
Commission's work can be salvaged. 

sumed and is considering the war budget as this letter is 
written. Some opponents of the Lease-Lend Bill (now hap- 
pily adopted by Congress) claimed that the United States 
were being asked to do more than Canada, who, it was in- 
ferred, was not nearly so altruistic towards Britain. The 
answer to that, of course, is that Canada has been all out in 
the war from the start. The government is asking Parlia- 
ment for $1,300,000,000 for war purposes alone. We do not 
number more than 12 million people as compared with 130 
million in the United States. President Roosevelt has asked 
Congress for $7,000,000,000 to implement the Lease-Lend 
Bill, so Canada's war effort is fairly commensurate. In ad- 
dition, the normal cost of government, estimated at about 
$500,000,000, must be provided for, and there are other 
commitments arising out of the war. Altogether the fed- 
eral financing is likely to run to $2,500,000,000 this coming 
fiscal year, a considerable part of which will be raised by 
borrowings, or through taking advantage of the provisions 
of the Lease-Lend Bill. 

Unfortunately for Canada, our taxation system makes 
the load in a time of stress all the greater. A suggestion of 
the Henry George Society to the Finance Minister that the 
federal authority should levy a land value tax after the fash- 
ion of Australia and New Zealand has elicited an official 
icply, firstly to the effect that the government regards land 
value taxation as the preserve of the municipalities, and, 
secondly, that the Rowell-Sirois report does not recommend 
such taxation. If, however, that Report is to be the criter- 
ion, then the Finance Minister should abolish all consump- 
tion taxes. 

THE ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY Negotiations regarding 
this huge power development project are nearing the stage 

where a treaty will be signed between the United States and 
Canada. There is a suggestion that the Dominion govern- 
ment may adopt it as a war measure. Land values in the 
affected areas will increase, but neither the federal authority 
nor the provincial will get the benefit of these values under 
the present set-up they will continue to be privately appro- 
priated. The province of Ontario will have to rebuild a con- 
siderable mileage of highway due to the flooding along cer- 
tain portions of the river, and several towns will have to 
change their sites for the same reason. Stiffening of land 
values is already reported in the areas to be affected. 

RENTAL CONTROL The Ontario Property Owners Asso- 
ciation passed a resolution of protest against the "continued 
refusal of the Wartime Prices Board of the right of owners 
of residential properties to a moderate, basic return on their 
investments," and the Dominion Mortgage & Investments 
Association wants the basis of rental control to be changed 
and a "fair return to landlords" principle adopted. The fair 
return is to be based on the investment, but the questionable 
part of the investment may be the speculative cost of the land 
in some boom period. It is amazing how much urban real 
estate in Canada is administered by trust companies, hence 
the interposition of the Mortgage & Investment Association. 

The Property Owners Association further deplores the 
"continuance of the policy ... of encouraging war profiteer- 
ing by tenants at the expense of property owners." Now 
that there is a boom in rooming space, the landlords inject 
a sour note because the tenants have a chance to make a little 
money, for which incidentally they furnish service, which 
the land speculator does not. A disgruntled landlord wrote 
a letter to the Ottawa Citizen and some of his remarks are 
worth perpetuating for museum purposes. "Rental control," 
he says, "was not invented for property owners . . . Rental 
control was created for a superior race, the tenant. Tenants 
are, in many cases, tenants that they may travel unhampered 
by property from place to place, taking advantage of the 
highest salaries." Sour grapes! HF.RBKRT T. OWENS. 

The Antioch Review 

first issue (Spring, 1941) of the new quarterly, The 
Antioch Review, has come to vis. This excellent work 
is edited by a group of men at Antioch College, though it is 
not an official publication of that institution. The Revierv is 
frankly dedicated to the struggle of democracy in the pres- 
ent-day world and to the quest for a sane and democratic 
post-war reconstruction. The editorial board includes our 
good friend, Dr. George R. Geiger, Professor of Philosophy 
at Antioch. Dr. Geiger's contribution to the Spring Review 
is an article, "Philosophy and Social Change," in which he 
eloquently reiterates his plea that philosophy choose the 
course of realistic effort in making this world a better place 
to live in. 

March April, 1941 


Signs of Progress 


Robert Schalkenbach Foundation 

Several abridgments of "Progress and Poverty" have 
made their appearance in Georgeist literature. Some of 
these shortened versions have had wide circulation. "Signifi- 
cant Paragraphs from Progress and Poverty," for instance, 
ran into editions totaling sixteen thousand copies. It was 
widely used in colleges where professors did not hesitate to 
make it required reading because the price was low and the 
reading time a matter of only an hour or two. However, after 
years of using that book in his economics class at Missouri 
University, Professor Brown, compiler of "Significant Para- 
graphs," came to feel the need of a book which presented the 
argument more fully and yet demanded not over half the 
reading time of the unabridged work. This objective was 
realized last year when Professor Brown prepared "Progress 
and Poverty, Abridged." He has omitted the eighty page 
discussion of the Malthusian Theory contained in "Progress 
and Poverty," much of the section on the wage fund theory, 
and the chapters on interest. Thus, it has been possible to 
keep the book down to 232 pages and yet maintain a con- 
sistent march of the argument in Henry George's own 
words. A trial edition of this book was published last year 
by the Henry George School. The first large edition is now 
on the Foundation's press and will be ready by early April. 
It will retail at twenty-five cents a copy, postpaid. 

It is a real privilege to announce a limited supply of "The 
Struggle for Justice," by that distinguished author and lec- 
turer, Louis Wallis. The books, which have previously cost 
one dollar a copy, will be sold at fifty cents. In a thumb- 
nail sketch of that most thrilling of all dramas, as old as 
history itself, the struggle for justice is pictured in its var- 
ious phases: the period when the Hebrew race was being 
forged from the nomad clans of Israel and the Amorites of 
the walled cities of the lowlands of Canaan ; the years when 
the barbarous tribes of Europe were being fashioned into the 
nations of today; the Middle Ages; the Reformation; the 
heightened tempo of the Nineteenth Century, down to Mod- 
ern Times. "Within recent years," says Mr. Wallis, "the 
people have more and more turned away from the church 
because it has been identified with a platform which has 
failed to meet the increasing pressure of our time. It has 
denounced the shortcomings of men in their private lives; 
but it has not flamed with high enthusiasm for the righting 
of social wrongs." Mr. Wallis predicts that the struggle 
for justice will end with the social gospel triumphant, and 
the Bible, as explained by scientific scholarship, as the center 
of the greatest movement for justice and freedom that the 

world has ever seen. One of our friends, who had pur- 
chased many copies of this book at the original dollar price, 
has already subscribed for twenty-five of this special fifty 
cent offering. 

At long last we have been able to obtain a shipment of 
the Spanish edition of "Progress and Poverty" from 
Madrid. They are the first to come into this country since 
the Spanish civil war. German and Italian translations, 
which are often asked for, are unobtainable, and the time 
seems far distant when we shall again be able to import 

A recent trans-Atlantic mail brought an interesting letter 
from Mr. Madsen of London. He asks for twenty more of 
our calendars, reports on the activities of the British George- 
ists and says nothing, absolutely nothing, about the war. 
Also on that boat came a fresh supply of "The Great In- 
iquity," by Tolstoy, and some copies of the popular Verinder 
book, "My Neighbor's Landmark." This interesting book, 
which retails here at thirty-five cents, is a series of informa- 
tive studies of the land laws of the early Jews. 

Our circularizing of the normal schools throughout the 
country has resulted in the sale of several hundred copies of 
"Progress and Poverty" to instructors and professors in 
these important educational centers. It has also brought us 
requests for material for class study and evidence of a kind- 
ling interest in the whole subject of Georgean economics. 

We quote from an interesting letter from a well known 
professor with whom we have been corresponding : "Thanks 
for the book you sent me and also for the calendar. I think 
it is about time that I gave Henry George his due and 1 
consequently plan to include him this year in my course 
on economic thought." 

From a friend in Texas one who now finds an outlet for 
his Georgeist energies in the writing of strikingly original 
poetry comes this encouraging remark: "I am much pleas- 
ed with the calendar. It has the best picture of our prophet 
I have ever seen. I congratulate you on the selection of the 
quotations. Each one is as good as a sermon." 

Into a letter which Dan Beard wrote us the other day, 
he tucked this sentence : "The trouble with us single taxers 
was that because we saw it so plainly, we thought everybody 
else could, and I have a suspicion that many of them did, and 
that was the reason they were so bitter in their opposition." 
Dan Beard, you know, is the Grand Old Man who has done 
so much to build the Boy Scout movement to its present size 
and strength. 

In ordering literature or making inquiries, address Robert 
Schalkenbach Foundation, 32 East 29th Street, New York, 
N. Y. 



March April, 1941 

Henry George School of Social Science 

Edwin Ross, who had been occupying the position of As- 
sistant Director at headquarters, has been transferred to 
Philadelphia, where he is now serving as Field Director, in 
the same capacity as John Lawrence Monroe in Chicago, and 
Teresa McCarthy in New Jersey. Plans are under way to 
incorporate the Henry George School of Philadelphia under 
the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. 

At headquarters, the new Assistant Director is Miss Mar- 
garet Bateman, of Montreal, Canada. Miss Bateman con- 
siders her stay at the School a period of training, after which 
she will return to Canada to apply the experience she has 
gained to the Canadian School of Economic Science, thus 
following the precedent of the other Field Directors. The 
lady from Canada has won every one with her charm. Miss 
Bateman was formerly a sales promotion manager for Stan- 
dard Brands. She is also one of the Directors of the Mon- 
treal School of Economic Science. A few years ago Miss 
Bateman toured Europe. She was especially impressed b) 
the Folk Schools of Denmark, and it is her ambition to estab- 
lish similar schools in Canada. She believes that such a 
venture would do much to stimulate interest in Georgeist 
philosophy, as indeed it has done in Denmark. 

A new procedure has been adopted in the schedule of the 
courses in Fundamental Economics. A fifteen-week semes- 
ter will start afresh every month. The classes are being 
staggered so that people who have missed the first two weeks 
of one semester will not have to wait thirteen weeks to en- 
roll. There were about 1000 enrollments for the February 
classes in Fundamental Economics and 500 for the advanced 
courses. Mr. Paul Peach has started a class in Mathemati- 
cal Statistics. He hopes to prepare his students to cope 
with statistical problems. About 350 enrolled for the March 
course. Another semester started the week of April 7th. 


Miss Helen D. Denbigh, co-leader with Miss Grace Johns- 
ton of the Berkeley Henry George School, sends us the 
following charming account of "A School Day Outdoors, 
in California": 

The East Bay Extension of the Henry George School had finished 
all the work connected with its classes, and there was to be a short 
interval before the work of organizing new classes began. Miss 
Grace Johnston invited a little group of workers in the cause to join 
her in a trip along the open road, in her new Pontiac. We went by 
way of Berkeley over the Carquinez Bridge to the rapidly growing 
town of Vallejo (with the Mare Island Navy Yard at its left) ; then 
we passed through the lovely vineyard country of the Napa Valley, 
with its wineries and quaint houses. 

About noon we arrived in Calistoga, and after lunch, set off for 
Healdsburg and the Russian River with its great redwoods, standing 
in peaceful majesty, with their towering trunks feathered by soft 
greenery toward the top. The Russian River is so named because 

of an attempt by Russians early in California's history to found a 
fur-trading colony. Their fort built at Ross still stands. \\'e 
followed the river's winding turns through lovely country to its 
mouth at Jenner. There, at sunset, we saw the fresh water meet the 
salt ocean on the sand bar at the river's end. Great broken earthy 
islets stand out from the shore. Headlands such as these are fre- 
quent on this comparatively gentle Pacific Coast. 

We hurried home along the shore as night fell, passing the fishing- 
villages and the home-coining boats, and watching lights appear in 
honies. A glorious day we had, spent in goodly company. 

"I think our movement needs a spiritual home, and I think th;,t 
home should be the School," said Oscar Geiger, on just such a 
lovely outdoor day spent at Mahwah River in Suffern, New York, 
with students and friends of the School, in June 1934. "Fellowship 
grows by association," said John Lawrence Monroe to me once. 
The interchange of ideas and companionship on such a day as this, 
we've found, brings forth good fruit in the working days that follow. 

Manhattan Single Tax Club 

President Ingersoll is chairman of a committee of four, 
including himself, John H. Allen, Alfred N. Chandler, and 
Mrs. Olive C. Sanford, which is working vigorously and 
systematically for the passage of the Sanford Land Value 
Tax Bill through the New Jersey Legislature. This is the 
same bill that passed the Assembly in 1939. Originally 
written by George L. Record, it would enable municipalities 
to remove in five equal annual installments the taxes on im- 
provements and personalty, and simultaneously to increase 
at the same rate the tax on land values. 

In the belief that this is a splendid opportunity to publi- 
cize the Georgeist philosophy, the Manhattan Single Tax 
Club is devoting every facility to the prosecution of this 
campaign. It has arranged for Mr. Harry Haase, Director 
of the School of Democracy, to assist in the interviewing of 
legislators and general propagation. 

American Alliance to Advance Freedom 

The Alliance has organized two groups of Georgeists, 
who, under the leadership of experienced teachers, are 
training themselves in the use of an "Outline for Discussiou 
of Current Problems in the Light of the Philosophy of 
Henry George." The "Outline" was prepared by Gilberl 
M. Tucker, a member of the Provisional Executive Board 
of the Alliance. The members of these groups, when they 
become proficient in the use of the "Outline," will then or- 
ganize and lead discussion groups of non-Georgeists in ac- 
cordance with a plan for spreading Henry George's teach- 

An enthusiastic capacity crowd attended a general meeting 
of Georgeists called by the Alliance and held at the Hotel 
Collingwood, New York, on March 7th. 

Another general meeting has been called for the evening 
of April 18th, at the City Club Building, 55 West 44th Street, 

h April, 1941 



New York. The program will include a round-table dis- 
cussion on the topic, "Roads to Georgeism." About half 
a dozen Georgeists, representing different points of view, 
will discuss their ideas on the best methods to advance 
Georgeism. All Georgeists are invited to attend. Admis- 
sion is free. 

Readers are invited to send for a complimentary copy of 
"A Proposal for Georgeist Action Now," an eloquent plea 
based on the writings of Henry George and an analysis of 
the present world situation. Address your request to: Mr. 
Elbcrt E. Josefson, Secretary, American Alliance to Ad- 
vance I'rccdom, Suite 505, 22 West 48th Street, New York, 
N. Y. 

The Two Commonweals 

Alter a lapse of some time, we are happy to receive a let- 
ter from J. W. Graham Peace. He writes : 

"It is now a long time since I have seen LAND AND FRKK- 
DOM. 1 am lost without word from American friends. The 
war must be the reason, I suppose. 

"In case you had thought us dead, let me tell you that 
nearly 200 meetings were held during last year ; and in spite 
of the blackout and numerous other inconveniences, several 
open air meetings have been held in central London often 
interrupted by the barking of the A-A guns a few hundred 
yards away from our stand. 

"There will be much to report when the present check 
(it is not a ban) is eased, and the press is restored to its 
former freedom. Don't misunderstand me. The censor- 
ship is voluntary if the writer is prepared to take the con- 
sequences of any mistake he may make in judging the likely 
effect of his writing upon readers here or overseas." 

Mr. Peace is hoping to re-establish his admirable little 
weekly publication, Commonweal, which was temporarily 
suspended when the war broke out. If interested in sup- 
porting this paper, communicate with Mr. J. W. Graham 
Peace, 6 The Close, Rayners Lane, Pinner, Middlesex, Eng- 

Another Comnwim-cal that was suspended for a while 
and has recently been revived, is the New Zealand publica- 
tion of that name, edited by T. E. McMillan. The January- 
February issue contains a discussion of the New Zealand 
Labor Government's policy on land nationalization. A 
leasehold tenure has been devised, to supplant the old free- 
hold tenure. The People's Movement, a political organiza- 
tion, is endeavoring to restore a true freehold system, and 
New Zealand Georgeists see in this an opportunity to in- 
fluence the People's Movement with Henry George's pro- 
posals. If interested in the New Zealand Commonweal, ad- 
dress T. E. McMillan, Hohaia Street, Matamata, New Zea- 


In the House of Assembly elections, on March 29th, there 
were three candidates advocating Henry George principles. 
They were : Charles Hobbs, for the District of Stuart, J. P. 
Moore, for the District of Eyre; and our old friend, E. J. 
Craigie, for the District of Flinders. Mr. Craigie is a can- 
didate for re-election, the other two being new candidates. 
We have not yet received the results of the voting. It will 
be reported in our next issue. 

In the Manifesto to the Electors, the three men stand for 
undiluted Georgeism. To quote: "We are aware that gov- 
ernmental activities cannot be maintained without revenue, 
and we also know there is no justification for the taxation 
of industry until the natural revenue proves insufficient to 
meet the cost of all necessary government. What is this 
Natural Revenue ? It is the Land Rent Vund. How is this 
brought into existence ? Simply by the presence of the peo- 
ple ! . . . Any student of economics knows that in the centers 
where there is the greatest population and where social ser- 
vices have been provided to the greatest extent, there also 
will be found the highest unimproved land values. This is 
because of the operation of a natural law which automatical- 
ly provides a land value fund sufficient to defray the cost of 
necessary government services .... Up to the present party 
governments have allowed this community-created fund to 
be appropriated by private individuals, and have then taxed 
industry to meet the cost of government ; with the result that 
many forms of industry have broken under the strain. Are 
you going to allow this unjust policy to continue?" 

There will also be Georgeist candidates in the May elec- 
tions in New South Wales. The People's Advocate reports 
the formation of a new Georgeist party, the New Social 
Order Party. We quote : "The Party is a development from 
the Henry George School of Social Science in New South 
Wales. The young men associated with the School hold the 
opinion that political action is necessary to apply Henry 
George principles to the vital affairs of life, hence it is their 
intention to run candidates at the forthcoming elections in 
New South Wales next May. We wish them success in 
their efforts, and trust that they will be able to secure the 
election of a number of their members to voice sound princi- 
ples in the New South Wales halls of legislature." 


A remarkable series of lectures was given Yby Sr. B. Ma- 
chello of Rosario, presenting in a didactic and popular way 
the abstruse principles of Henry George's "Science of Po- 
litical Economy." The lectures, delivered at a motion pic- 
ture theater, were heightened by the use of pictorial slides, 
illustrating the three factors of the world, the laws of pro- 
duction and the laws of distribution. The project was under- 
taken with the cooperation of the Cinematografia Colon 



March April, 1941 

The Power to Exact Wages 


A FRIEND tells me of an incident which occurred when natural 
^ gas was piped into his town. A widow complained to a morning 
newspaper that her landlord raised her house rent on the ground 
that she could pay more because of the saving in her fuel bill. "You 
did not supply the natural gas," she said. "What difference does that 
make," he retorted, "it's my house." 

The significance of the incident is not that it was striking. It 
is that the same condition and cause, though less obvious, affects 
every person in the civilized world. Government through law ignor- 
antly stifles normal competition. It gives landownership license to 
hold labor off the land for a price. This limits the use of land. 
It keeps enterprise down as well as competition. It causes high prices 
in general. It makes labor compete against itself. In other words, 
it permits the greater part of wages to disappear in the price of land. 

The point in theory that I would discuss is in the comment which 
my friend made on the affair. He said, "When will people wake up 
to the fact that ground rent is a social value and belongs in the 
social fund?" This provokes a few other questions which I would 
like to ask. Is all of present ground rent a social value? Is that 
which the landlord extracted from the widow a social value and does 
it rightfully belong in the social fund? (What moral right has gov- 
ernment to legalize such "hyjacking?" What right to collect from 
the landlord that which he clubs from widows or others? Is it 
a fine thing for government to be a receiver of stolen goods? Is 
this something to work and pray for? If so, count me out of both. 

The fact is, it is not George's proposal at all. He would starve 
in the streets again before he would favor such a plan. He would 
say that which the landlord took from the widow was her wages; 
that no man, official or otherwise, has a moral right to this part of 
her subsistence. When the landlord got the extra rent from the 
widow it took the form of monopoly and speculative rent. As 
George said, "Over and above the economic rent there is the power 
that comes by monopoly, which may be called monopoly rent. The 
power to exact that monopoly rent comes from the power to keep 
labor off the land." 

It is clear then, that wages and its security to labor is a definite 
factor to reckon with in distribution. It is by all means the most 
important factor in livelihood. Let us therefore wake up thoroughly 
to the fact that as a matter of distribution, except at first to get a 
start, government is to collect the economic increment only, leaving 
the monopoly and speculative quantity in the pockets of labor as 
wages. Let us think more about wages and worry less about the 
"social fund" and "social services." Let us envision wages for what 
it is, not only a definite factor in distribution but the greatest and 
grandest economic provision of nature on earth. The fullness of 
life can come only through WAGES, gained through the handi- 
work, craftsmanship and thoughtful care of man himself, through 
his labor with hand and brain. 

Wages ! World wide and universal ! What depth of human im- 
plications here! What a subject for writers, thinkers, leaders every- 
where! This wisdom of George will be listened to when men have 
gone through the lower depths of the coming decade. The world 
strafing which will result from the blind struggle to escape the 
consequences and to overcome the legal advantages which men have 
built up against each other, will give us the opportunity of the age. 

This light must come! But it will have to come from the original 
spiritual insight and fire which since George's time has dulled down 
to a spark. Let us fan the true spark into a great illumination ! But 
we shall have the breath and power for that only by returning to the 

original purpose of George, to elevate wages through a just distri- 
bution of wealth. 

George's factual wisdom and Utopian vision must be brought 
to all sorts and orders of people, especially to those who have suf- 
fered most from economic injustice. Let us return to the original 
purpose and plan. Then society will put aside the universal rob- 
bery, the exactions of legal advantages. A flood of wages will 
then flow over the earth so that, as George said, "The industrious 
will be the rich people of the future . . . That all may have leisure, 
comfort and abundance, not merely the necessities of life, but even 
of that which are now esteemed the elegancies and luxuries of life."' 
Let us give our best thought to the problem of labor and its wages. 
The social fund will then almost take care of itself. 


"A Quest for International Order," by Jackson H. Ralston. John 
Byrne and Co., Washington, D. C. 1941. 205 pp. 

In this book, a solution to the international affairs of today i^ 
offered by a Georgeist. Permanent peace and the forces that pre- 
vent this state from being realized is the theme. 

The author's solution for world affairs is in the field of Inter- 
national Law. In individual human relations, says the author, we 
have learned, to a certain degree, to distinguish right from wrong. 
The state, which exists for the individual, should be governed by the 
same laws of justice. But this lesson has not yet been learned. That 
this misconception (or rather, lack of conception) prevents peace is 
vitally demonstrated in Judge Ralston's book. It is best stated in 
the author's own words: 

"We have in the international field the absolute want of any ideal 
or ultimate aim in the interest of the individual, such as prevails 
within the state. Our rulers have labored in the interest of an im- 
possible object. To them the ineffable state has appeared everything. 
In truth, the state is a mental conception and to labor for it directly 
is to labor for nothing of reality. The only reality is the individuals 
who compose the body of the nation. International relations have 
not gone down to this bedrock of all law the individual. In the study 
of human welfare he is not to be ignored or to find substituted for 
him the unreal state. We have a serious quarrel with the Inter- 
national Law writers who fail to recognize this fundamental fact 
of what only by courtesy today can be called their science. We 
wonder they have not studied the effect of violations of right upon 
the individuals of a nation when its rulers violate the freedom of the 

Judge Jackston H. Ralston is well qualified by experience to offer 
his solution. He has been a lecturer and writer on international 
affairs for a great many years. He was an umpire in the Italian- 
Venezuelan Mixed Claims Commission. 

Many topics usually discussed in connection with international 
peace such as neutrality, intervention, national interests, etc. 
are dealt with in the present volume. But they are subjected to a 
critical analysis unusual in such discussions, and the errors and de- 
ficiencies of International Law as now practised are constantly 
pointed out. A reading of this book will show how satisfactorily 
the author has performed his task. 

The difficulty encountered by this type of literature is not so much 
the subject matter as the period in which it is written. Nations at 
present are not interested in a better understanding of the conflict 
now being waged, but only in the continuance of the conflict until 
victory is attained. Opinion-forming agencies are not likely to give 
deep reflection to the ideas expressed by Judge Ralston. But pre- 
cisely for this reason his work should be given major attention. 


March April, 1941 





Gaston Haxo has done a wonderful job with "The Philosophy of 


"The Philosophy of Freedom" is a perfect mine of interest and 
progress in the field of economics. Mr. Haxo has given a great deal 
of thought to this elucidation of "Progress and Poverty," and this 
is quite a contribution to the cause. 


I like the dedication, preface, biographical sketch and introduction, 
v ith the "gems" preceding each book. I like the print, the diagrams, 
the binding and the cover. It is a worthy effort, and will help in the 
clarification of the theory set forth in "Progress and Poverty." I 
was very glad to see tables and footnotes bringing facts of these 
present years to bear upon the problem. 


I read the book with a great deal of interest and was very much 
impressed by the clear, concise way in which Mr. Haxo presented the 
subject matter of "Progress and Poverty." It ought to prove a boon 
to the busy, modern day student of economics. 


I have found Gaston Haxo's book of very real value in teach- 
ing fundamental economics. "The Philosophy of Freedom" is a 
brilliantly concise piece of work which belongs in every Georgeist's 
brief-case. I can't imagine a more admirable adaptation of "Progress 
and Poverty." 


"The Philosophy of Freedom" should be of considerable help in 
presenting a simplified form of scientific and practical aspects of 
Henry George's theory. 1 have placed extra copies of the book in 
State and City libraries 


"The Philosophy of Freedom" seems an excellent summary. 

EDWIN S. Ross 

Haxo's book in indeed praiseworthy. 


["The Philosophy of Freedom," by Gaston Haxo, is a study in 
fundamental economics adapted from Henry George's "Progress and 
Poverty." It is published by LAND AND FREEDOM, and may be obtain- 
ed from us for $1.00 postpaid. ED.] 


For information on land and taxation in Soviet Russia, I should 
like to recommend my article, "The Public Finance of U. S. S. R.," 
in the issue of Taxes for 1939. All land in Soviet Russia is national- 
ized and there is no private trade or private industry. One must get 
a special license even for the sale of one's used trousers (See page 
19 of my study). 

I would like to give more information, but unfortunately I am 
terribly busy at the present time working on the Illinois Tax Reform. 
Northwestern University, 111. PROF. PAUL HAENSEL 


I have read with deep interest "A Legislative Framework for the 
Philosophy of Henry George." It embodies proposals for legisla- 
tive action that are free from the serious objections heretofore pro- 
perly attributable to all similar proposals, so far as I am aware, here- 
tofore advanced. I may add that the "Framework" itself promises to 
be very educational. 


I regard the "Legislative Framework" as a most admirable set- 
ting forth of the legislative procedure necessary to put the George- 
ist ideas into action. To my knowledge this had never been promul- 
gated before in so complete and adequate a form. I congratulate 
you on a fine piece of work. 


The Committee on "A Legislative Framework" has rendered a 
real service in the preparation and printing of this careful study 
... an admirable pamphlet. 


I think the Committee has done a wonderful job in working out 
"A Legislative Framework." It affords excellent basis for focussing 
attention on the possibilities achievable by legislation of this 


The "Framework" the result, apparently, of much painstaking 
research is indeed a valuable contribution at this most critical 
time in our history. The "Enabling Legislation", it seems to me, 
has been given special and very helpful study in the manner of its 


["A Legislative Framework for the Philosophy of Henry George" 
appeared as a special supplement to the January-February 1941 
issue of LAND AND FREEDOM. Extra copies may be obtained free 
upon request. ED.] 




One must accept with the grace he may, evidence that the purport 
of his argument has been missed. So with "A Challenge To Pessim- 
ism"! The latter was written to suggest that the gloom occasioned 
by regarding Rent as an attribute of land might be dispelled did un- 
prejudiced inquiry reveal it to be an attribute only of social organiza- 
tion; that instead of being due to "the relative productivity of na- 
ture," it was found to be "the measure of the worth only of social 
and governmental advantages." 

From the belief that Rent is an attribute of land follows natur- 
ally the ideas that Rent is paid for the use of the land, and that it 
belongs to those who, holding titles to land, mistakenly are called 
"landowners." On the other hand, the belief that Rent is an attribute 
only of social organization leads as naturally, and directly, to the 
ideas that Rent is paid only for artificial advantages, and that it 
belongs to society, whose activities provide these advantages solely 
that provisions of nature may be enjoyed. 

Anticipating beneficial results from such an inquiry, it was asked 
if Georgeists agreed that those who hold titles to areas of land really 
were "owners of the earth owners of climates, views, mines, for- 
ests, rivers, harbors, soils?" If Rent really was paid "because the 


March April, 1941 

earth with all of its natural elements and forces exists?'' If people 
really pay Rent for the use of the land?" 

Mr. Sanford J. Benjamin replied to this article in your last issue, 
and said: "Whoever collects the economic Rent is the landowner, 
whether it is the community or an individual." I am sure I fail to 
grasp the intended significance of this statement, since (if Henry 
George's intuition that Rent belongs to society is sound) it would 
appear to be analogous to saying that one who embezzles, thereby 
becomes owner of that which does not belong to him, which I can- 
not believe the statement was intended to imply. 

But I dissent wholly from the view that by any act can human 
beings become "owners" of land. I believe, as presumably do most 
Georgists, that no man, nor any community of men however or- 
ganized, can "own" the earth or any part of it. But supposing men 
could own land, what would that have to do with Rent if Rent is 
not paid for the use of land, but only for the services of govern- 
ments in protecting users of land in possession of the fruits of their 
toil and in the enjoyment of all other social advantages? What 
would it have to do with "landowners" (if such there be) who 
neither provide the land, nor the conditions which make people 
want to use the land or willing to pay Rent merely title-holders, 
the very security of whose possession of land, and the guarantee of 
the validity of whose titles to land, are services of governments? 

While he who obtains title to land properly may be called a "land- 
lord," possession of title does not constitute him a "landowner," 
since purchase of title is not an "investment in land." Rent received 
from an "investment in land" is not comparable, either in cause or 
effect, to interest received from a true investment. Invested funds 
properly are used to finance the enterprise in which they are in- 
vested. But funds involved in an "investment in land" are not used 
to finance the land, they are not used to improve its quality or ter- 
rain, to increase its area, its accessibility of usefulness to the user 
of land or to the community; nor do they finance the social condi- 
tions which make people want to use land, or to offer (as indeed 
they do) to pay Rent. In fact, such disposition of these funds is a 
detriment to the user of land. 

Thus, the idea that Rent is paid for the use only of that which is 
not land, in contradistinction to the idea that Rent is paid for the 
use of that which is land, has deeper significance than merely an 
interest in a "method of achievement" of governmental collection of 
the total Rent and the total abolition of taxation. But even as a 
"method of achievement," does it not afford the means to the uni- 
fication of the aims and endeavors of all who strive towards the 
goal which none would deny to have been the goal of Henry George? 
No incitement to strife over land or cause for wars would exist, 
were payment of Rent to governments recognized as an obligation of 
every inhabitant in proportion to the benefits which each receives at 
the hands of governments ; instead of as "interest" to "landowners" 
on pseudo "investments in land." By this method appeal can be 
made to every inhabitant on a basis of business principles of the 
highest sanction and of universal application. Unifying, not divisive, 
its pursuit could not so much as simulate the nature, spirit or aspect, 
of an "ism" of any sort. 

In contrast, can the single tax program have within itself the 
power of universality to disarm opposition? The "land value tax" 
has the appearance of a discriminatory tax, since it is a tax ostensibly 
imposed upon only, one half of the population that half (or less) 
which holds titles to areas of land in this country. It arrays the 
latter against the other half of the population which holds titles 
to none of the land of this country; one faction voting or acting 
in opposition to the other faction, each seemingly in its own interest, 
a condition promotive of antagonism and strife rather than of har- 

mony and peace. For these among other reasons was it asked : 
"Were these truths understood and recognized by all what man or 
group of men would have the face or unwisdom to precipitate a 
war to preserve to themselves the privilege of ignoring their obliga- 
tions to society, that is, the payment of Rent in full to the gov- 
Eugene, Ore. W. R. B. WILLCOX 


Mr. Philip Rubin in his article in LAND AND FREEDOM, "A Plea for 
Revitalized Georgeist Movement in America", makes an eloquent 
apology for action and a strong plea for organization. Why have 
not we Georgeists in America progressed as have Georgeists in other 
places, like Denmark, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zea- 
land? asks Mr. Rubin; and he proceeds to give us the answer. Ac- 
cording to Mr. Rubin, a small part of the blame lies in the condi- 
tions of the times prior to 1933 (prior to the New Deal?) and almost 
all the rest of the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Georgeists 
who are "intellectual snobs", "immaculate idealists'" and 'dogmatists" 
who "are proud, oh how proud, of our virginity". 

If refusing to compromise with truth earns such labels, then pur- 
ists deserve them. In my opinion, the only way to make real and 
lasting progress here or anywhere else is to stand by our guns and 
preach and, above all, teach truth and nothing else. Let us not de- 
grade our "virginity" by the corruption of Socialism (even the va- 
riety known as "moderate"), nor soil our hands amongst the racket- 
eers. As Mr. Chodorov says, throwing out the rascals does little 
good : "We must get rid of rascality." All the revitalizing suggest- 
ed by Mr. Rubin has been tried over and over again, by all sorts of 
pressure groups, for generations, and has always been a failure, be- 
cause it deals with effects and not with causes, or because admittance 
of heresies has revolted the very people it sets out to convert. In 
our own day, witness Townsendism, Buchmanism, Coughlinism, 
Communism, etc. 

I hope and trust that most Georgeists, after reflection, will not be 
misled by such proposals as "revitalizing," and will persist in keeping 
our doctrines pure. 


We have a fine example of the source of land value on the 
market here. There is a mud flat on the outskirts of New Orleans 
(which will have to be filled in), offered to the government for a 
defense need four hundred acres at $1000 per acre as is! I \vrotc 
an open letter to the Times-Picayune, calling this fact to the atten- 
tion of our tax commissioners and asking who or what gave this 
land any value ; but it was not printed. 

I send many letters to newspapers, and try to arouse some thought 
on the land question, but it is quite difficult to make people think. 
Thinking is hard work, and to save the trouble, the average man 
carries standard answers on the front shelf of his mind for handy 
reference. Typical among the answers to a challenge on the land 
question are the following: "Oh, we have so much land now that 
we can't use; the President has to take it out of commission." 
"People don't want to go back to the land. Look at all those 
families trekking back to the cities." "We haven't any more extra 
land. Our frontiers are all gone." "What would be the sense in 
producing more, when we have to plough under now?" I really 
get dizzy trying to think up answers simple enough to penetrate 
into the "average mind." 
New Orleans, La. MONA McMAHON 

March April, 1941 





Your journal continues to be interesting and instructive, and I 
wish you great success in your work for economic freedom. We are 
going through hard times, but there is no lack of faith that Democ- 
racy will win in the first round in which we are now engaged. The 
next round will also be a hard fought one, but we work on in the 
hope that freedom will at last be advanced. 
Keighley, England FRED SKIRROW 


I received a complimentary copy of LAND AND FREEDOM and was 
greatly impressed. Am only too glad to become a subscriber to such 
a great publication. 
Des Plaines, 111. ADOLPH M. ESSER 


The office of economics a science is to trace, through natural 
law to its rightful owner, title to wealth. This having been accomp- 
lished, the science is or should be through with the subject. If hav- 
ing reached that rightful owner, he, the owner, sees fit to exchange 
a part of that wealth for lipstick, hair oil, whiskey or whatnot, that 
comes under the head of his, the owner's, private business and it is 
not the function of economics to justify the transaction. If, on the 
other hand, that owner prefers to exchange some of his wealth in 
the outright purchase of a mule or a truck (capital), that also comes 
under the head of his private business and falls outside the scope 
of economics. If still, on the other hand, he prefers to exchange 
some of his wealth for the loan of a mule or a truck (interest), 
that, too, is beyond the field of economics. 

The debates and fine-spun theories about interest, pro and con, 
which consume so much space in our Single Tax publications, does 
not do our reputation any good. 
Memphis, Tenn. A. B. PITTMAN 


Can it be that "education" has the power to solve all social prob- 
lems? Georgeists are fairly well-educated and intelligent. Yet, for 
about sixty years now, we haven't found how to make effectual the 
advance of the movement. 

There are sincere efforts enough, like my own in distributing 100,- 
ooo choice pamphlets all over Mississippi during one year. There 
are foundations, clubs, organizations, periodicals, several "colonies." 
Why don't we advance? Can it be that in our zeal we are over- 
looking something? 

General political campaigns beget the maximum attention and 
interest. Two campaigns in our movement did arouse large public 
interest, including that of the enemy. They were, the campaign of 
Henry George for Mayor of New York, and Luke North's Great 
Adventure of California. The latter was a straightforward, frank, 
practical, understandable land value taxation program. It was poorly 
financed, and yet polled nearly half of the total state vote. Had 
North lived and directed another campaign, it surely would have been 

Does this not indicate that the political method, properly planned, 
directed and financed, is the surest and shortest road to our objective ? 
If so, all power and effort should be concentrated in one of the 
states. The campaign there should be kept up until successful at 
the polls. The contagion of a great political adventure spreads. 
Daphne, Alabama E. W. WALTHAU. 


A FEATURE article on "The Revival of Georgeism," by Jos. H. 
Fichter, S. J., appears in the February issue of The Catholic 
ll'urld. In this excellent treatment, the life of Henry George is 
sketched, and an account given of the recent revival of general 
interest in his theories, with special reference to the amazing 
growth of the Henry George School of Social Science. In con- 
clusion, Dr. Fichter suggests that Catholics and Georgeists may 
get together. "The object of both," he says, "a more reasonable 
distribution of wealth would make such alignment worth striv- 
ing for." 

FROM A. G. Huie, Secretary of the Henry George League of New 
South Wales (Australia), we have received a 53-page manuscript on 
the interest question by Dr. Henry George Pearce. This essay is a 
critical analysis of Gaston Haxo's theory of interest, and is entitled 
"Haxometry." It is a remarkable piece of work but, unfortunately, 
too long to be printed in LAND AND FREEDOM. However, we would 
be glad to send the manuscript to any one who wishes to examine 
same. When finished, the manuscript can be returned to us, so that 
others may see it. 

AN interesting debate has been running in the Boston Traveler, 
between Prof. Norman Myers of Boston University, and our good 
friend, Walter A. Verney. Prof. Myers started it by writing to 
the Traveler, alleging that "the single tax is as dead as a dodo," and 
that it is fortunate that such a fallacious doctrine should have died. 
Mr. Verney retorted in a subsequent issue of the Traveler, pointing 
out that the single tax is not dead, that it has not been refuted, and 
that there are today a host of followers of Henry George. Prof. 
Myers thereupon conceded that perhaps the single tax is not yet 
dead, but some day it will be. "Logic and reason," said the Pro- 
fessor, "those ancient methods which so many men unwittingly 
continue to use today, have provided appealing arguments for tht 
single tax. But have the learned followers of George learned to 
arrive at truth through experience?" To which Mr. Verney replied 
by defending logic, despite its antiquity, and asserting that George- 
ists most certainly rely on experience. 

GEORGEISTS of Washington have been saddened by the death 
of Mrs. Marie Holm Heath, who for forty years labored untiringly 
for the Single Tax and other reforms, principally in Washington. 
Mrs. Heath was one of the founders of the Women's Single Tax 
Club of Washington, and was for a time its president. Early in 
life she was secretary to the well-known liberal minister and social 
worker, Rev. Jenkin Lloyd Jones. Later, when she became inter- 
ested in the woman suffrage cause, she became secretary to Mrs. 
Carrie Chapman Catt. Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw 
had no more loyal lieutenant. Mrs. Heath was married to William 
Spencer Heath. 

JAMES J. SAYER, a devoted Georgeist of Portland, Oregon, 
died December 20, 1940. Mr. Sayer, an Englishman by birth, came 
to this country when he was seventeen, and for many years was 
active in newspaper work. He became the first paid Secretary of 
the Portland Association of Building Owners and Managers in 1916, 
and retired with a pension in 1936. He was well known to leaders 
in the industry throughout the country 

CHARLES Jos. SMITH has volunteered his services to the national 
defense program. He teaches a class of civilians on the legal aspects 
of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. 



March April, 1941 





We favor legislation that requires the collection by 
taxation of the full annual value (rent) of land and 
special franchise rights (exclusive of improvements), 
and the abolition of all other taxes. 

We favor any legislation that tends in that direction, 
whether or not the full objective is sought at the first 

Toward this end, "A Legislative Framework for the 
Philosophy of Henry George" has been prepared. 


In the United States 

1. Amendment to federal constitution. 

2. Federal administrative laws. 

3. 48 amendments, one to each state constitution. 

4. 48 state administrative laws. 

5. Local administrative laws in every community 
which has local self government in taxation. 


1. A central committee. 

2. State branch committees. 

3. Local branch committees in all communities 
which levy and collect taxes. 

Each committee shall be locally self governed and no 
branch committee shall control or be controlled by the 
central committee or any other branch committee. 

Organization of branch committees of two or more 
persons is requested. The central committee will keep 
a roster. 

State and local committees should engage local coun- 
sel to draft state and local laws. Upon request, the 
central committee and general counsel will aid with 
advice and criticism. 

Reprints of "A Legislative Framework for the 
Philosophy of Henry George" (which appeared in 
LAND AND FREEDOM, January- February 1941) may be 
obtained upon request. 


WALTER FAIRCHILD, General Counsel 

Address the Central Committee, care of LAND AND FREEDOM 
150 Nassau Street, New York, N. Y. 

Vol. XLI, No. 3 WHOLE No. 226 

May- June, 1941 

Land and Freedom 

An International Journal of the Henry George Movement 

The Story of Puerto Rico 

"Isle of Enchantment" 

Joseph M. Sinnott 

Winning the Peace 

"After the War We Must Win the Peace" 

Sidney J. Abelson 

Backwash of the Past 

A Reply to Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Edwin S. Ross 

Three Theories of Rent 

"Ricardian, Neo-Ricardian and Realist" 

Raymond V. McNally 





May June, 1941 


An International Journal of the Henry George Movement 
(Founded in 1901 by Joseph Dana Miller) 

Published Bi-Monthly by 
LAND AND FREEDOM, 150 Nassau Street, New York 




Please address all communications and make all 
remittances payable to Land and Freedom. 

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: $2.00 per year. Libraries and Colleges, $1.00. 
Special trial offer to students and graduates of the Henry George 
School of Social Science, $1.00 for one year. Payable in advance. 

Entered as second-class matter Oct. 2, 1913, at the Post Office, 
New York, N. Y., under the act of March 3, 1897. 

May- June, 1941 

Vol. XLI, No. 3 

WHOLE No. 226 


ENGLAND: Douglas J. J. Owen. 

CANADA: Herbert T. Owens. 

BRAZIL: Prof. Fidelino de Figueiredo. 

NEW ZEALAND: Hon. P. J. O'Regan, Wellington. 

T. E. McMillan, Matamata. 
SPAIN: Baldomero Argenfe, Madrid. 
BULGARIA: Lasar Karaivanove, Plovdiv. 
HUNGARY: J. J. Pikler, Budapest. 
FRANCE: Ing. Pavlos Giannelia. 




THE STORY OF PUERTO RICO Joseph M. Sinnott 76 

WINNING THE PEACE Sidney J. Abelson 81 

"BACKWASH OF THE PAST" Edwin S. Ross 84 


GREAT BRITAIN Douglas J. J. Owen 88 


THE CRITICS CRITICIZED Jacob Schwartzman 91 








We declare : 

That the earth is the birthright of all Mankind 
and that all have an equal and unalienable right 
to its use. 

That man's need for the land is expressed by 
the Rent of Land ; that this Rent results from the 
presence and activities of the people ; that it arises 
as the result of Natural Law, and that it there- 
fore should be taken to defray public expenses. 

That as a result of permitting land owners to 
take for private purposes the Rent of Land it 
becomes necessary to impose the burdens of tax- 
ation on the products of labor and industry, which 
are the rightful property of individuals, and to 
which the government has no moral right. 

That the diversion of the Rent of Land into 
private pockets and away from public use is a 
violation of Natural Law, and that the evils aris- 
ing out of our unjust economic system are the 
penalties that follow such violation, as effect fol- 
lows cause. 

We therefore demand : 

That the full Rent of Land be collected by the 
government in place 'of all direct and indirect 
taxes, and that buildings, machinery, implements 
and improvements on land, all industry, commerce, 
thrift and enterprise, all wages, salaries and in- 
comes, and every product of labor and intellect be 
entirely exempt from taxation. 

That there be no restrictions of any kind imposed 
upon the exchange of goods within or among 


Taking the full Rent of Land for public purposes 
would insure the fullest and best use of all land. 
Putting land to its fullest and best use would create 
an unlimited demand for labor. Thus the job would 
seek the man, not the man the job, and labor would 
receive its full share of the product. 

The freeing from taxation of every product of 
labor, including commerce and exchange, would 
encourage men to build and to produce. It would 
put an end to legalized robbery by the government. 

The public collection of the Rent of Land, by 
putting and keeping all land forever in use to the 
full extent of the people's needs, would insure real 
and permanent prosperity for all. 

"Is it too soon to hope that it may be the mission of this Republic to unite all nations of English speech, whether they 
grow beneath the Northern Star or Southern Cross, in a league which, by insuring justice, promoting peace, and libera- 
ting commerce, mil be the forerunner of a world-wide federation that will make war the possibility of a past age, and turn, 
to works of usefulness the enormous forces now dedicated to destruction." HENRY GEORGE. 

Land and Freedom 

Vol. XLI 

MAY JUNE, 1941 

No. 3 

Comment and Reflection 

THE only form of government under which the Georgeist 
reform is possible of attainment is that of democracy. 
But to expect any measure of success should we not be will- 
ing to make use of the processes of democracy? The op- 
ponents of Georgeist principles are certainly exploiting those 
facilities to the utmost ; indeed, they have acted with a zeal 
that strongly suggests an abuse of democratic processes. 
Is it not about time we recognize that the activities of our 
adversaries have reached a stage which demands immediate 
counter-action ? 

TJERHAPS of late we have been relying too much on the 
-* notion that injustice will somehow become exhausted, 
thereby enabling us to overtake it in hare-tortoise fashion. 
This is wishful thinking, for it is not in the nature of in- 
justice to assume any such static condition in this world as 
we know it. Such a negative approach must be futile when 
pitted against a wrong which has again and again demon- 
strated its proficiency. 

ONE of the important factors in molding laws and public 
opinion is our educational system. Our opponents are 
quite alert to all the possibilities in this field. The opportu- 
nity for their further profiting in this direction lies in the 
fact that many universities throughout the country are 
presently faced with a serious curtailment of income. This 
leaves them easy prey to the temptation of "endowments," 
"scholarships" and the like, offered by real estate groups. 
The most recent of these to have fastened upon institutions 
of higher education is the American Institute of Real Estate 
Appraisers. Under their sponsorship, courses are given in 
"professional training in real estate appraisal," both at Yale 
University and at the University of Southern California. 
With one division of the Institute on the Atlantic and the 
other on the Pacific coast, it would almost seem that they 
are applying to the propaganda of "respectable" economics 
the ideas gained from the pincer movements of present-day 
aggressors. They will probably close in on the mid-continent 
universities in due time. One thing is certain whatever 
else may be taught in the courses, no effort will be made to 
point out the contradiction in the subject-term itself, real 
estate, a misnomer which confuses wealth with land. 

of legislation. The National Association of Real Estate 
Boards has concentrated its work on state legislative bodies. 
Their aim is to convince the law-makers of the advisability 
of "placing an over-all limit on the rate of a tax which may 
be levied upon real estate." This they glibly refer to as tax 
reform, and under such guise they have organized taxpayers' 
conferences in many states and alas, more and more of our 
public school teachers are being lured by these tactics. Even- 
tually, all states are expected to be well represented. Many 
of them, including New York, already have statutory tax 
limits on real estate. The National Association claims credit 
for the recent enactment of such a law by the State of Wash- 
ingon, and also points with pride to the recent abolition of 
the Florida state tax on real estate. 

extent of this progress made by vested interests is 
also disturbingly apparent in a recent United States 
Supreme Court decision, pointed out by Mr. J. Rupert 
Mason in the last issue of LAND AND FREEDOM. The Court 
decided that the states' power to tax land values is no longer 
sovereign, but subject to interference and control by the 
Congress. This upsets one of our oldest traditions the 
sovereignty of states. Supplied with such jurisprudence, 
landlordism is now able to entrench itself more firmly than 


HILST working for land monopoly in the halls of 
learning, these groups are no less active in the halls 

rTIHE problem with which Georgeists are confronted is 
* how best to combat the subversive effects of these 
groups. There is no denying that our opponents have the 
"inside track." They have the benefit of courtesy generally 
accorded time-honored institutions, as well as a head start 
in recognition by legislative bodies and educational institu- 
tions. Their advantage is supported with almost unlimited 
monetary resources. Yet, though Georgeists have but slender 
material means, we cannot afford to delay any longer in 
making use of available opportunities, and in exerting the 
full force of our moral strength. Otherwise, with pressure 
from wealthy real estate organizations, and no counter- 
pressure to offset it, legislative chambers will hardly resist 
the ever increasing demands of entrenched monopoly. The, 
only means by which legislators can know that the demands 
of landlordism are being opposed is in the existence of a 
vigilant, organized and articulate opposition. If we do not 
demonstrate that we are in the field to secure our tax re- 
forms, we can hardly expect legislators to divine them. If 
democracy is worth preserving and defending, it is surely 
worth utilizing. 



May June, 1941 

The Story of Puerto Rico 

"Isle of Enchantment' 


ON the nineteenth of November 1493, an armada of 
seventeen ships under Christopher Columbus skirted 
the coast of a mountainous palm-fringed island and dropped 
anchor in a wide, placid bay. Columbus immediately went 
ashore and with formal ceremonies declared the island a 
possession of Spain. In the typical Spanish manner of the 
time, he christened it San Juan Bautista Saint John the 

Amongst the motley crowd of adventurers who watched 
him plant the red and gold standard of Ferdinand and 
Isabella in the sands was a penurious young grandee from 
the province of Leon whose name was Juan Ponce. He 
was destined to become immortal by his bravery, his ad- 
venturous spirit and his quest of the Fountain of Youth. 

"Ay, Que Puerto Rico" 

Columbus sailed away never to return. The youthful 
Juan Ponce de Leon, however, rose to rank and responsi- 
bility in the nearby island of Hispaniola. Stories were 
brought to him of vast amounts of gold on the neglected 
Island of San Juan Bautista and he secured an appointment 
from the Governor of the Indies to conduct an expedition 

He landed with an army of fifty soldiers on August 12, 
1508. Ponce de Leon made his way along the coast of the 
Island trading in friendly fashion with the natives from 
time to time until he came to a wide, safe harbor. Recog- 
nizing the verdant wealth of the island he was circumnavi- 
gating, he exclaimed, "Ay, que puerto rico!"--"Oh, what a 
rich port!" Years later that exclamation appropriately 
embodied the name of the Island, and its prior name, San 
Juan Bautista, became limited to the fortified city which 
is now the Island's capital. 

The native Borinquens and Caribs whom the Spaniards 
found on the Island proved hospitable and peaceful, but 
forced labor in the service of the white man was soon 
installed. The Spaniards brought their system of Enco- 
miendas and Repartimientos which has received so much 
unfavorable criticism from historians of the Colonial period. 
This system, somewhat akin to our present ward-boss poli- 
tics, gave to certain favorites, who had supposedly rendered 
special services to the government, the possession of desig- 
nated lands and a certain number of Indians. Greedy for 
gain, the men thus favored placed intolerable burdens on 
the hapless natives. Rebellion and resistance beginning 
with surprise attacks on their Spanish masters proved futile. 
In 1511 a handful of white men with their guns and gun- 
powder and protective armor met and defeated six thousand 

Puerto Ricans. Only those natives who hid in the moun- 
tains or fled to sea survived. Of an estimated eighty thou- 
sand natives at the time of the arrival of Columbus a mere 
handful were left. In 1515 Licenciado Sanchez Velasquez 
wrote to the King: "Excepting your Highness' Indians and 
those of the Crown Officers there are not four thousand 

To offset this depletion in the ranks of labor, the first 
slaves were brought surreptitiously to the Island from 
Guinea in 1510, and in 1513 their general introduction was 
authorized by the payment of 200 ducats per head. To 
suppress the smuggling of negroes, those imported legally 
were branded on the forehead with a hot iron the carimbo. 
Any slave not branded could be confiscated and sold at 
public auction. 

It has been said that "Glory, Gold and God" were the 
three motives that prompted Spain to its rapid conquest of 
what at that time was the world's most extensive empire. 
The return that Puerto Rico could make was rather small- 
gold she had but little and the gold-giving colony was the 
favorite in the eyes of the mother country. It was the 
smallest and least prepossessing of all Spain's colonies in 
the New World. Consequently, like our own North Atlantic 
coast where no gold had been found, it was neglected and 
received scant notice. This lack of gold and the Spaniard's 
distaste for slow agricultural pursuits as a means of enrich- 
ment caused the Puerto Rican colony to straggle along in 


(Courtesy U. S. Travel. Bureau) 


May June, 1941 



The Spanish Incumbency 

The policy followed by Spain in conformity with the 
mercantilist ideas of the time was the chief obstacle to the 
growth of commerce and industry in Puerto Rico. In 
accordance with the contemporary theory, since a colony 
existed solely for the benefit of the mother country, that 
country ^ould expect to reap the full harvest only by the 
enjoyment of monopolistic trade relations. Under this 
policy Puerto Rico could trade with a foreign power only 
by illegal means, and smuggling was carried on continually. 

The small gold deposits having been quickly exhausted, 
Puerto Rico became essentially an agricultural community. 
Sugar cultivation was introduced as early as 1514. Parallel 
with sugar other crops were introduced with success. 
Tobacco, coffee, ginger and hides soon took their places as 
thu cash items in the table of exports to the mother country. 
Bananas, hay, rice, maize, kidney beans, sweet potatoes and 
cotton were also raised with fair success. 

News of the discovery of gold in Peru reached Puerto 
Rico in 1534 and whipped the colonists into a frenzy of 
excitement. They wanted to abandon the Island en masse 
and feast on the treasures of the Incas. Governor Lando 
had to impose the death penalty on "whosoever shall attempt 
to leave the Island." 

The discovery of gold in Peru and later in Mexico also 
brought to Puerto Rico a new importance as one of a 
"bridge of islands" for the protection of the treasure 
galleons on their way to Spain. But the galleons brought 
the pirates. England, France and Holland had been un- 
successful in their quest for the yellow metal. And so they 
did the next best thing : they countenanced privateering and 
haunted the trade routes of the Spanish Main like birds of 
prey. Sir Francis Drake, hero of the Battle of the Spanish 
Armada, and Sir John Hawkins, the first English slave 
trader, were operating in those waters in 1595. Both were 
mortally wounded when they attempted to capture a richly 
laden galleon in the harbor of San Juan. The Earl of 
Cumberland captured and sacked the town in 1598. He was 
forced to leave the Island after five months because an 
epidemic of dysentery decimated his ranks. 

The Dutch under Bowdoin Hendrick captured, sacked 
and burned San Juan in 1625 but were soon driven from 
the Island under the heroic leadership of Juan de Annes- 
quito. In 1663 the French under Beltran D'Ogeron tried 
unsuccessfully to force the Island. Nearly every name 
famous in the annals of piratical venture appears in early 
insular history. Puerto Rico suffered many other attacks 
during the next two centuries because of the constant wars 
which the Spanish Crown carried on with its neighbors. 

Meanwhile, the Island struggled along beneath the burden 
of bad governmental administration under the control of 
court favorites and the spoils system. It was not until 1778 
that the native Puerto Ricans first received the right to 

own land. In 1815 they received the Cedula de Gracias, 
which brought reforms that stimulated business. The most 
important reform made possible by this new ruling was 
permission to trade with non- Spanish islands of the West 
Indies. In 1869 negro slavery was abolished but not until 
the ruling class had reimbursed itself to the tune of eight 
million pesos from the public funds. 

The American Regime 

As Spain's power in the world began to weaken, various 
of her over-seas colonies struck for their independence. The 
Puerto Ricans organized a home rule movement which 
flourished despite the persecutions of the Crown Officers. 
One rebellion after another was put down with ruthless 
cruelty. Finally an autonomous government was actually 
inaugurated in Puerto Rico on February 9, 1898. However, 
an examination of the political status of Puerto Ricans 
under the decrees of autonomy yields little evidence of 
actual independent government. The political machinery 
consisted of a Governor-General and an insular Parliament 
composed of two houses. The Governor-General repre- 
sented the King and as Commander-in-Chief of the land 
and naval forces of Puerto Rico exercised military as well 
as civil authority. He was given the power to refuse 
to promulgate the laws and resolutions of the Parliament, 
being required only to transmit to the Spanish Government 
a report of why he considered such action necessary. He 
could suspend at will all civil rights and constitutional guar- 
antees, and dissolve Parliament, enforcing such actions if 
necessary by ordering out the military and naval forces. In 
addition special qualifications such as ownership of property 
yielding an annual revenue of at least four thousand pesos, 
or the possession of a degree from a recognized university, 
limited membership in the upper house of Parliament to the 
landholding and professional classes. Severe restrictions 
were also placed on the right to vote. Many Puerto Ricans 
saw in the imminent occupation by the Americans a means 
of hastening total independence and applauded the ap- 
proaching sovereignty of the United States. 

On October 18, 1898, after a bloodless engagement, the 
Spanish colors were lowered and the American flag was 
hoisted in San Juan. The Island and its dependencies were 
ceded to the United States by the treaty of Paris on Decem- 
ber 10, 1898 and the treaty was ratified on February 6, 1899. 

The American military forces took control of the Island 
and attempted to reorganize its economy. Freedom of as- 
sembly, speech, press and religion were decreed and an 
eight-hour day for government employees was established. 
A public school system was started and the U. S. Postal 
Service was extended to the Island. The highway system 
was enlarged and bridges over the more important rivers 
were constructed. The government lottery was abolished, 
cockfighting was forbidden, and a beginning was made 


May June, 1941 

toward the establishment of a centralized public health 

Congress approved the Foraker Act on April 12, 1900 
giving the Island its first constitution under the American 
Government. Besides providing for a representative form 
of government the principle of free trade was established 
between the Island and the mainland, and import duties 
previously levied on Island products entering the United 
States were abolished while the full tariff "protection" given 
to products of the United States was extended to Puerto 
Rico. This inclusion of the Island within the American 
tariff wall was the most important factor in determining 
Puerto Rico's future economy. Coastwise shipping laws 
were made applicable to the Island. As a result, 90% of 
the Island's trade was directed to the United States. 

Amongst the provisions of the Foraker Act, the first 
organic act of Puerto Rico after the Island passed into the 
hands of the United States, was the following: "No cor- 
poration shall be authorized to conduct the business of buy- 
ing and selling real estate except such as may be reason- 
ably necessary to enable it to carry out the purposes for 
which it was created, and every corporation hereafter au- 
thorized to engage in agriculture shall by its charter be re- 
stricted to the ownership and control of not to exceed 500 
acres of land. This provision shall be held to prevent any 
member of a corporation engaged in agriculture from being 
in any wise interested in any other corporation engaged in 

American efficiency was soon applied to the production 
of wealth in Puerto Rico. The growth of the sugar in- 
dustry soon displaced coffee as Puerto Rico's dominant 
pursuit and shifted agricultural economy from that of direct 
consumption crops to commercial crops for export. Develop- 
ment of the tobacco and citrus fruit industries followed the 
same lines. 

It was not very long before the Puerto Ricans discovered 
that they had given up the personal latifundias of their 
Spanish masters for the corporate latifundias of the new 

In the old days the Island politicians had but two princi- 
pal political parties, the Monarchists, or representatives of 
the privileged class, and the Republicans, composed of the 
less fortunate members of society. The native politicos had 
developed a successful technique of discreetly threatening, 
blustering and bluffing in order to force concessions from 
the Crown officers. However, some restraint had to be 
shown because at any moment they might educe a sharp 
and violent reply to their fulminations. This same technique 
was transferred to the new regime but the blustering be- 
came more thunderous as reprisals were not drawn forth. 
To this day this same technique is the main stock in trade of 
the Puerto Rican politician. 

Despite the fact that many political hacks and favorites 

of the reigning political parties were sent from the main- 
land to the Island during those early days, no one can deny 
that a sincere effort was made to develop the resources of 
the Island. The introduction of machinery began to have its 
usual effect and the small landholder was soon forced to 
sell to the large landholder. 

Meanwhile, the sugar companies found that it was to 
their advantage to woo the screaming Island politicos and 
as a consequence the local legislature became quite amiable. 
The Hon. Antonio R. Barcelo, for many years leader of 
the Unionist Party, the majority party in the Island, and 
for many years President of the Senate, was the brother- 
in-law of Jorge Bird Arias, Vice-President and General 
Manager of the Farjado Sugar Company. The Hon. Jose 
Tous Soto, for many years Speaker of the House, was also 
attorney for the South Puerto Rican Sugar Company. And 
so on down through the rank and file of both Houses. One 
politician when accused of being on the payroll of a sugar 
company indignantly exclaimed, "It is true that I am on the 
pay roll of the sugar company but when I am on the floor 
of the Senate I represent only the people of Puerto Rico 
and when I am off the floor of the Senate I represent only 
the sugar company!" 

Under such leadership it is not difficult to deduce why the 
people of Puerto Rico have sunk so low in the economic 
and consequently the intellectual and moral scales. 

Puerto Rico Today 

The Island of Puerto Rico is a little larger than the 
state of Rhode Island. It consists of some 2,198,000 acres 
of which about 604,760 are under cultivation. Of these acres 
under cultivation four large American absentee sugar com- 
panies own and control some 200,000 acres. Four Spanish 
absentee sugar companies own and control an additional 
40,000 acres, making a grand total of not less than 240,000 
acres directly owned or controlled by absentee sugar com- 
panies. There are about 60,000 more acres devoted to the 
production of sugar cane and these are owned by small 
farmers who sell their crops to the big sugar companies. 
Since these small farmers or colonos are often financed by 
the sugar companies and are dependent upon them for 
grinding their cane, one can readily see that their relation- 
ship is one of dependence on the big companies. This makes 
a grand total of approximately 300,000 Island acres devoted 
to sugar cane alone. While sugar acreage was increasing 
five times, crops devoted to food were declining to less 
than two-thirds of their former acreage. 

Owing principally to periodic devastation by hurricanes, 
coffee production has been steadily declining but there are 
still about 169,000 acres devoted to this purpose. Nearly 60% 
of this acreage is also controlled by absentee companies 
and landlords. About 30,000 acres are planted with tobacco. 
Of this about 85% is controlled by four absentee companies. 

May June, 1941 



In addition there are about 6,500 acres devoted to the culti- 
vation of fruits. About 31% of these lands are absentee 

Thus, of an approximate total of 604,000 acres under 
cultivation, nearly 370, 000 acres are directly controlled by 
absentee owners, mostly American, in only four export 
crops. A good part of the remaining land is heavily mort- 
gaged to absentee banks. 

This absentee control is not confined to the land. Exam- 
ination shows that Island Banks are 60% absentee con- 
trolled, railroads 60%, Public Utilities 50% and steamship 
lines approximately 100%. It may be said in general that 
60% of the wealth of the Island is absentee controlled. 

No wonder the 1,800,000 inhabitants of the Island must 
import 90% of their scanty diet of beans, codfish and pol- 
ished rice from the United States. Although the United 
States tariff gives the island a protected market for the 
absentee export crops, the poor native must buy in a pro- 
tected market and pay 14% more for his imported foodstuffs 
than the New York City laborer, although his wages are 
85% less! 

The complicity of the Insular Legislature also manifests 
itself in other ways. And so it is not surprising to find that 
the lands owned or controlled by the large sugar companies 
are assessed for purposes of taxation at about one-half 
their real values. To a lesser degree the same deliberate 
under-assessment obtains in the tobacco and coffee in- 

The wretched native, crowded from all* the better land 
of the Island, is forced to live on swampy or barren tracts 
or driven to seek the miasmic shelter of the slums of the 
large cities. 

Shut off from the land, the source of all wealth, he is 
forced to compete with thousands of other unfortunate, 
landless creatures like himself in order to gain access to 
the means of subsistence. And this intense competition 
drives his wages down to the starvation point. Thus it is 
not surprising to find that agricultural wages for males 
average from $4.00 per week in the sugar industry to $2.37 
per week in coffee growing. In some cases women workers 
earn an average of 2Vz or 3 cents per hour. The lowest 
wages for rural workers were in truck gardening. In this 
activity men worked 38.9 hours a week at an average week- 
ly wage of $2.26. Women worked 56.7 hours per week with 
a weekly rate of $1.78, and children worked a full week of 
48 hours receiving $1.50 per week. 

This same maddening competition also affects urban wa- 
ges, and in 1937-38 we find that wages for males ranged from 
a high of $13.00 per week in the printing trades to a low of 
$2.52 for dock workers. As a rule, in the cities women re- 
ceive lower wages than men. 

It was not long before this struggling mass of poverty- 
stricken humanity attracted the attention of some shrewd 

gentlemen on the mainland, and soon the needlework in- 
dustry was established. At first this new enterprise was 
treated with contempt by the Island politicos as not worthy 
of their blandishments. Soon, however, their demeanor 
changed as the infant industry surged its way forward to 
become the second most important insular activity ranking 
next to King Sugar. 

The industry thrived but the wages of the workers en- 
gaged in it did not. We find that needleworkers average 
15 to 25 cents a day for those who work in their homes 
and 50 cents to one dollar per day for shop workers. 

This condition of starvation wages and consequent de- 
graded living conditions can only lead to disease and death. 
Therefore it is not surprising to find that the diseases that 
flow from poverty run rampant through the Island. The 
death rate for infants under two years of age chiefly from 
enteritis and diarrhea resulting from malnutrition and un- 
sanitary living conditions is probably the highest in the 
world. Among people of all ages tuberculosis, mostly caused 
by overcrowding in houses and lack of proper food, an- 
nually produces the second largest number of fatalities. 
Hospitalization of these sufferers is impossible because of 
a lack of funds. Malaria presents one of the most serious 
health problems with the great majority of swamp dwellers 
unable to buy the quinine necessary to combat this disease. 
The insular government doles out small quantities free to 
some of these victims. Hookworm at one time affected 98% 
of the rural population. Through the efforts of the Interna- 
tional Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation this 
scourge now infests only about 40% of the field workers. 
This disease is caused chiefly by a lack of shoes while 
toiling in polluted soil. 

In general it may be averred that the death rate for all 
ages in Puerto Rico is nearly twice that of the United 
States. The natives, ground down by man and harassed by 
the diseases of poverty, eke out a short and weary existence. 

To escape those intolerable conditions the poor jibaro has 
tried to flee from his oppressors just as in early Spanish 
days. About 55,000 live in New York and Brooklyn, and 
thousands more would come if they could get the passage 

The Quest for a Solution 

The writer used to watch youngsters of seventeen and 
eighteen years of age secretly drilling in Black shirts and 
with wooden guns in a pathetic desperate preparation to 
throw off the supposed yoke of the United States Govern- 
ment. This clandestine Nationalist movement was covertly 
supported by many of the Island politicos who hoped there- 
by to provoke the Federal Government into greater con- 
cessions and expenditures. They quickly took to cover 
however when the movement flared into violence and mur- 
der and culminated in the Albizu Campos incident. 



May June, 1941 

Now the Island politicians still follow the old, successful 
Monarchical-Republican party technique of the early Span- 
ish days and blame the United States Government for all 
the ills that afflict the Island. The hapless workers, believing 
in the integrity and patriotism of their leaders, lend ear to 
their bombastic denunciations and consequently they also 
are inclined to rail against the Federal Government. 

It is true that the United States Government has erred 
in many of its policies with regard to Puerto Rico but all 
actions should be judged by the motives which prompt them. 
In the great majority of cases these motives were good. 
Time after time the Federal Government has sent com- 
missions to Puerto Rico in order to study conditions and 
alleviate the condition of the people. Time after time have 
the efforts of these commissions been sabotaged by the big 
corporations and their insular lackeys. One earnest man 
after another has been attacked and discredited by the poli- 
ticians 'and the privileged group of less than five thousand 
people who fatten on the miseries of their fellow country- 
men. These sincere men, caught in the whirlwind of scream- 
ing invective abuse in the controlled insular press have been 
forced to leave the Island in disgust and seeming disgrace. 

Because of the machinations of the politicians and the 
privileged five thousand, the 500-acre law has lain dormant 
in the law books since 1900 with no attempt made to enforce 
it. Laws to protect the colono from usury and extortion 
are also disregarded. The minimum wage laws in the needle- 
work and other industries and the laws governing child 
labor are bogged down and lost in seas of insular red tape 
deliberately spun by the small, compact privileged class of 
Puerto Ricans. All this despite the fact that for some years 
the Island has enjoyed complete home rule in matters of 
internal policy. 

To combat the evils caused by insular and absentee land 
appropriation, the United States Government has poured 
over eighty million dollars into the Island during the past 
few years under the auspices of the Puerto Rican Recon- 
struction Administration. At one time seventy-five percent 
of the people on the Island were directly or indirectly de- 
pendent upon this fund. Because the Federal Government 
does not allow the Island politicians to administer this fund 
to their own advantage, they immediately set up the cry of 

It was due to the efforts and insistent urgings of the U. S. 
Department of Interior at Washington that the 500-acre law 
(shot through with legal loopholes and inefficacious as it is) 
was revived again and legal steps were taken to implement 
the Federal Minimum Wage Laws and the Child Labor 

On April 12, 1941, Governor Swope signed the Puerto 
Rico Land Authority bill, which establishes a Land Author- 
ity composed of seven members who are charged with 
carrying out the Congressional resolution of 1900, limiting 

corporate land holdings to 500 acres. Of course, the sugar 
companies expect to be compensated for their holdings and 
the battle and the delaying tactics in the courts have already 
begun. The most that can be said for this measure is that 
a faltering step in the right direction has been taken. 

The Malthusian theory is still carefully nurtured by the 
privileged class in Puerto Rico since it enables them to shift 
to the Creator any responsibility it cannot hurl at the United 
States. The slightest use of the halls and appurtenances of 
the University of Puerto Rico should soon convince them, 
if they really want to be convinced, that the solution of 
the problem of over-population is not to be found in the 
Birth Control Law of 1937 but in a higher elevation of the 
standard of wages. The increased standard of wages would 
increase the standard of comfort and the higher standard 
of comfort would raise the level of intelligence. The wis- 
dom of the ages tells us that the higher the mental type 
the less the tendency to large families. The problem of over- 
population in Puerto Rico is merely another aspect of the 
general problem of poverty. 

Careful analysis affords most convincing proof that the 
misery and degradation of 95% of the inhabitants of the 
"Isle of Enchantment" are not due to the machinations of 
the Federal Government nor to the stupidity of the Creator, 
but most assuredly stem from the greed and cupidity of 
corporation-controlled legislators and the guilty connivance 
of the privileged five thousand. 

Newton D. Baker on Henry George 

TN an exchange of correspondence with the late Hon. 
* Newton D. Baker some ten years ago, our good friend, 
John C. Rose of Pittsburgh, received the following from 
Mr. Baker: 

"Henry George was a strange and significant phenomenon 
in the midst of an age of acquisitiveness and materialism. 
He sought and found fundamental moralities as the basis of 
an economic philosophy, and nobody who has read "Progress 
and Poverty" is ever the same in his thinking as he was 
before he saw those eloquent and impressive pages. Much 
that Mr. George taught has now become a part of the every 
day philosophy of our political life and much more will 
become a part of it. I do not, however, believe that there 
will ever be any sudden application of Mr. George's princi- 
ples. Sound political development is a matter of growth and 
not a matter of revolution, and even a fundamentally right 
economic doctrine, if it involves a radical departure from 
accepted practices, has to be absorbed little by little to avoid 
consequences too severe to endure which would follow a 
nation wide attempt to go back to the beginnings of things 
to correct an ancient error." 

May June, 1941 



Winning the Peace 


/GEORGE WASHINGTON warned his fellow-Ameri- 
^-* cans that it was prudent in time of peace to prepare 
for war. Today, an America which forsook the sage advice 
of its first President is hastily trying to make up for lost 
time. But Americans are not really worried about being 
able to fulfill the unsought for, yet inevitable task of re- 
arming we know beyond a doubt that that task will be 
prosecuted to a successful conclusion. 

Americans are worried not so much about the war prob- 
lem as they are about the peace problem. It is easy enough 
to make a war ; it seems impossible to make a lasting peace. 

In a recent book entitled "The American Choice," Vice- 
President Wallace aptly summed up the present situation. 
He wrote: "As we move on these immediate problems of 
preparation (for defense), we must not lose sight of the 
problems of the peace to come. For a while, if we carry 
on a preparedness program considerably greater than the 
current one, we can put nearly everyone to work and in so 
doing relieve the pressure of many types of farm surplus. 
But when peace comes and men are no longer needed in the 
Army and Navy and in the production of airplanes and 
munitions, we shall face the same old problem of finding 
markets at home and abroad for our non-military farm 
and city goods. We must find ways to solve these problems 
while maintaining and deepening our democracy at home. 
In some ways these problems of peace will prove more diffi- 
cult to solve than the problem of rearming to prevent war 
from coming to this hemisphere. A generation ago we 
organized efficiently for war. But we did not know how 
to organize the peace." 

Those two closing sentences written by the Vice-Presi- 
dent are worth noting. While our sleeves are rolled up as 
we work day and night to restore the fighting and winning 
power of the American people, we must not forget that 
all our strength, all our will to win, all our resolve to make 
the war serve high and noble purposes will be in vain if 
we do not find a way to organize the peace after the war 
is won. 

John G. Winant, the new American Ambassador to Great 
Britain said in a recent talk, "We must be prepared to 
conquer the peace." And he continued, "Only by finding 
a common basis of world citizenship and by accepting far- 
reaching and progressive social changes can we hope to 
secure the economic and social security which will make 
any peace real and lasting. 

Certainly all agree that the world (and let us not forget 
that America is a part of the world) will soon have to 
undergo a drastic revision in its economic structure if it 
is to survive. Those of us who believe in the dignity of 


the individual realize that the theories of Freedom must 
be made into a practical reality, a reality expressed in eco- 
nomic security for all the people, if we are to be saved from 
Communist-Nazi barbarism or utter chaos. 

Let us turn to Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, the president 
of Columbia University, as another authority on the prob- 
lem of peace. Dr. Butler is a veteran of many decades in 
the struggle for peace. As Director of the Carnegie Foun- 
dation for International Peace he saw, first-hand, number- 
less proposals designed to eliminate force as arbiter in 
international quarrels. With the vast resources of the 
Carnegie Endowment available it seems certain that no 
stone was left unturned in the search for a peace formula. 
But what has Dr. Butler to report after so many years of 
seeking peace ? A few months ago he summed up our situ- 
ation in a few words: "It is a tired world. It is a dis- 
appointed world." In the face of the facts, that is the best 
Dr. Butler can tell us. He sought for peace, he cried, 
peace, peace but there is no peace. 

Every person of good-will, every being whose soul has 
not been mortally scarred by the uncertainties and inequities 
of life today, must feel this fact keenly beyond power of 
expression : the world is a failure. This, then, is the reason 
for our deep concern about the peace. 

In previous times, though there were many deep changes 
in social relationships, men did not depend so completely 
on what I might call all-out social ideologies ; they did not 
place their full faith in rigid, self-conscious systems, such 
as Fascism, Naziism or Communism. 

After the first World War, however, the economic way 
of life as people knew it, began to break down, and a new 
type, an ultra-modern form of tyrant forced himself on the 
scene. These tyrants carried gatling guns in one hand and 
would-be sociological treatises in the other. They were 
not, so they said, mere despots; but, on the contrary, they 
came to serve the people, to carry out the will of human- 
kind and the mandates of historical development. To prove 
their points they quoted from learned works and replied to 
protests with an avalanche of distinctly non-academic 
propaganda discreetly reinforced by the best instruments 
of physical persuasion ingenuity could devise and money 
could buy. 

It now seems more than a little strange, yet people by 
the millions outside the dictator countries placed their hope 
for salvation in the arch-leaders of destruction Stalin, 
Hitler and Mussolini. But that is all over, or nearly so. 

These rigid "isms" Communism, Fascism and Nazism 
have sacrificed whatever hold they might have had on our 
sympathies. Where, then, shall we turn in our search for 



May June, 1941 

a way of life? The American system, in certain funda- 
mental respects, provides the only foundation upon which 
a prosperous and peaceful social structure can be built. 

Nevertheless, there is something wrong, something seri- 
ously wrong with the American system if this were not 
so, our nation, the most productive of any on earth, would 
not have to admit that one-third of its people are ill- 
clothed, ill-housed and ill- fed. If this were not so, we 
would not have suffered the frightful depression which 
even now would be deepening were it not for the war 

We in the United States can take comfort genuine 
comfort in the reading of our Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, the preamble to our Constitution and the Constitution 
iself, yet we should not allow the existence of these docu- 
ments the greatest and most inspiring in all legislative 
history to blind us to the truth: Though the logic and 
moral truth of our ideals have withstood attack for more 
than a century and a half, we are now drifting further away 
from those ideals instead of drawing closer to them. 

The task before us today is to take what is good and 
sound in the American system and build on it. We must 
build by building, not by tearing the world apart and then 
hoping for the best. Lenin said, at the time when so-called 
War Communism was taking a terrible toll of human life 
in Russia, that "the present generation must plow itself 
under as fertilizer for the generation to come." I believe 
that that is an evil doctrine. No proposal that does not 
promise immediate progress, progress for the people of 
today, is worth the attention of conscientious men and 

Let me suggest a measuring rod by which to judge a 
social doctrine: "Does it offer to build a better life now? 
or does it tell me I must sacrifice my life and my children's 
security in order to build an indefinite Utopia in the in- 
definite future? Does it take the good there is in the world 
as a starting point for building a better social structure? 
Or does it say that everything we have now is bad and must 
be destroyed before work can start on the new structure?" 
If you use these measuring rods you will not be misled by 
the destroyers and visionaries, who, being devoid of any 
understanding of faith in the realities of today, indulge in 
opium dreams of a figmentary future. 

There are a number of really sound beliefs and traditions 
in America today. The sensible thing to do is to see what 
is good in our way of life, to review the basic American 
ideals and find out, if we can, how these ideals may be more 
fully realized. We must make our American faith in 
democracy and freedom a living reality, and not a statutory 

If we were able to vitalize the American ideals we should 
do more than restore the prosperity of the United States- 
great as would be such an accomplishment ; we should there- 

by help the world to realize a tremendous advance in the 
ways of civilization. 

"Ideologies" grow out of economic conditions. The evil 
"isms" of Communism, Fascism and Naziism are slightly 
divergent developments of a fundamental evil poverty ; 
a poverty which is based on the denial of a fundamental 
human right. This right is denied in America as well as 
in those countries which have been debauched by totalita- 

For many years this country was a beacon light to the 
rest of the world. Hundreds of millions of people looked 
to us not only for better automobiles and better industrial 
goods, but for better social ideals and a better social 
structure as well. Our depression served to disillusion these 
many millions at a critical moment. We failed humanity. 
When it most needed guidance in a sound way of life and 
looked to us for that guidance, we turned to it a picture 
of depression and unemployment as black as that of any in 
the nations considered far inferior to us in the ability to 
solve social and economic problems. 

In spite of this failure, America is still the world leader- 
thanks to the soundness of its basic ideals. If we arrange 
our economic structure in such a way that those ideals are 
fully realized as they can be then America once more will 
become the hope of the world. Our achievement will pro- 
vide an example for all the world to follow. Beginning 
with America, the world could experience an ever-widening 
"outbreak" of prosperity and peace as it is now experien- 
cing an ever-widening outbreak of poverty and war. There 
is still time to undo the evil works of dictators. 

The first point to remember about America is that its 
social and political system is based upon doctrines of natural 
rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all 
men are created equal; that they are endowed by their 
Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these 
are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Our whole 
social structure is an attempt to express in the dynamics of 
human life a recognized law of the Creator, that men, all 
men, are born with rights which no single man, group or 
government of men can legitimately take away from them. 

The authors of the Declaration of Independence ac- 
cepted no argument on this point. This, they said, was 
self-evident truth, truth not subject to challenge, truth 
which is quickly verified by our conscience. 

It was this recognition of the rights of man which made 
America great. For Freedom is not only an abstract philo- 
sophical doctrine; it is a concrete condition of progress: 
without it, industry languishes and the spirit of man de- 
clines; with it, all the higher ambitions and aspirations of 
man flourish. 

The spirit of the Declaration of Independence is still 
our guide, and still deserves to be our guide : We believe in 

May Jane, 1941 



freedom of the individual ; we believe in equality of oppor- 
tunity; we believe in self-reliance; we believe in the right 
of each to seek his own destiny, economic and spiritual, in 
the way each sees fit. 

In a large measure America has achieved its ideals. But 
that measure is not large enough; our achievement is now 
being challenged by ideologies from abroad and also, which 
is of more concern to us, by a serious fault in our own so- 
cial and economic structure. 

The founders of this country were far-seeing men; yet, 
in spite of all their genius, they permitted the continuance 
in America of two institutions which directly contradicted 
the very principles of the Declaration of Independence two 
institutions which, in both ethics and economics, are totally 
incompatible with our ideals of freedom and equality of 

One of these institutions chattel slavery is now a thing 
of the past. The man who led our nation in the abolition of 
slavery also pointed out the necessity for abolishing that 
other institution which in his time threatened, and 
in our time continues to threaten the American ideals 
an institution which is undermining our freedom and which 
has already destroyed equality of opportunity and self- 
reliance of the American people. 

Abraham Lincoln said : "The land, the earth God gave to 
man for his home, sustenance, and support ; and it should 
never be the possession of any man, corporation, society, or 
unfriendly government any more than the air or water, if 
as much. An individual, or company, or enterprise requiring 
land should hold no more than is required for their home 
and sustenance, and never more than they have in actual 
use in the prudent management of their legitimate business." 

Speculation in land was the second freedom-destroying in- 
stitution which our forefathers unwittingly retained in the 
new social order they established here. 

In Abraham Lincoln's time it was easier than it is now 
to see how directly the speculative withholding of land 
from use affects the payroll of every man and in aggregate 
the economic welfare of the whole community. The effect 
of land speculation is no less direct today than it was when 
we were predominantly an agricultural nation ; it only seems 
less direct. 

The question of land speculation is an ethical as well as 
an economic one. Man has a moral, a God-given right to 
use the earth whenever he needs it for his sustenance ; and 
this is a right which, in all morality, no individual or corpo- 
ration can take away from him legitimately. 

We do not stop to argue the point whether men are en- 
titled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," to free- 
dom of religion, of the press, of speech and assembly ; we 
know they are ; we know that without these rights and lib- 
erties economic life could not progress, without them, the 

spirit of man must deteriorate and ultimately descend to a 
state of debasement. 

Just as freedom in religion and in civil rights is essential 
to spiritual advancement ; so freedom in the use of nature's 
resources is essential to progress in the economic sphere. 
But that freedom freedom to use the earth when we need 
to use it is denied to the great majority of us, thanks to 
the institution of speculation in land. 

We have often heard it said that crime doesn't pay. That 
is a negative approach to a solution of society's ills. We 
must prove that virtue does pay. We must prove that free- 
dom and democracy really are efficient that they are 
worthwhile in terms of satisfying the economic desires of 
all the people. 

But there can be no real economic freedom without free- 
dom to use the earth the only universal and perpetually 
available workshop. As Abraham Lincoln said, God gave 
the earth to man for his home, sustenance and support and 
therefore should never be monopolized, any more than air 
or water. 

If we want to preserve democracy, if we are serious in 
our intention to extend and fortify American liberties we 
must restore equality of economic opportunity and that 
means equality in the right to find employment in the great 
workshop of nature. 

If we seriously mean to revitalize the American tradition 
of self-reliance we must make it possible for men to be 
self-reliant, to find employment according to their choice 
and to engage in economic enterprises according to their 
abilities and experience. And that can be accomplished only 
if we make land easily accessible for use in both city and 

Land speculation is in effect a monopoly which curtails 
employment, lowers wages and the profits of non-monopo- 
listic business, and restricts enterprise. A people shut off 
from the land become increasingly dependent for employ- 
ment on a few monopolized industries and the government. 
There can be no real economic freedom, no real free enter- 
prise system, if the land is not fieely, that is, easily ac- 

Here is the great opportunity that presents itself now 
to America after the war is won by the democracies, we 
can win the peace. We can solve the paradox of starvation 
in the midst of plenty, we can invigorate the traditions of 
liberty and indeed, extend and secure them for generations 
to come. 

But all this can be done only by making freedom a com- 
plete and practical reality. And that is something that re- 
quires more than fine phrases. It calls for a new abolition 
the abolition of the freedom-destroying speculation in 
land. It calls for the establishment of every man's right to 
use the earth on equal terms with every other man. 



May June, 1941 

"Backwash of the Past" 

A Reply to Anne Morrow Lindbergh 


wave of the future is coining, and there is no 
fighting it." This is the phrase in a dozen different 
forms, emphasized and re-emphasized, compelling a feeling 
of the inexorable movement of time itself, inevitable, sweep- 
ing all before it, heralded by the crack of doom ; this is the 
awesome note sounded by the onrushing Nazis in their cam- 
paign of easy victories by propaganda, striking helpless ter- 
ror in the hearts of abject adversaries. Incidentally, it con- 
tains the title and central philosophy of the latest book of 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh "The Wave of the Future." 

Hailed by the press as a "well meant" work, written seem- 
ingly in a calm, judicial style, expressing such an apparently 
long-range, planetary point of view, it has escaped the keen 
analysis and merciless probing it might have received had 
it been recognized in its true light. The rough and tumble 
treatment usually meted out to books on sociological sub- 
jects has been spared this one because it is so "well inten- 
tioned." The phrase itself should conjure up the scent of 
brimstone paving blocks. 

Were it only as a friend of mine called it "a harmless 
little book" the lack of effective criticism would be of 
no great importance. But since its central theme, unless 
boldly attacked and exposed, will crystallize in the minds of 
men a thought vaguely but widely held, I propose to sepa- 
rate the meaning from the intent. 

"The wave of the future is coming." What are we to 
understand by that baleful sounding phrase? By that is it 
meant that time in the distance will become time in the 
present ? Is it simply that "what will be will be" ? That wave 
is sweeping over us now, has swept over us since the begin- 
ning of time and will always do so. Time is inevitable. It 
was not to tell us that truism that Mrs. Lindbergh wrote 
her book. 

By the "wave of the future" we are to understand that 
some particular kind of time will encompass our future ac- 
tions. An era is coming that has an essence of its own. The 
relationships of men will be on a different footing from 
those we know today. America will meet the wave of the 
future in its own way. We will prepare ourselves so that 
it will come easily with a minimum of shock, not with the 
brutality and terror that enshrouds most of Europe. 

All this would be fine if Mrs. Lindbergh did not reveal 
that by the "wave of the future" she means a very special 
kind of wave, with very particular kinds of relationships 
established among men. 

To understand the particular kind of society (for that is 
what is meant by relationships among men) that Mrs. Lind- 

bergh has in mind, the reader will have only inferences to 
guide him, because in the whole forty pages there is not 
one word of explicit definition as to what sort of future this 
inevitable wave must bring us. In fact there seems to be a 
deliberate attempt not to define an attempt, by speaking of 
the "American answer" and the "French answer" and the 
"British answer," to have us think that the wave of the 
future is in reality a number of harmless little wavelets, 
from which we can make our selection. 

It is only by ascertaining where the crest of the wave is 
now, and who rides it, that we can apprehend the nature 
of it. Let Mrs. Lindbergh tell us in her own words where 
the wave now is : "The leaders in Germany, Italy and Russia 
have discovered how to use new social and economic forces ; 
very often they have used them badly, but nevertheless they 
have recognized and used them. They have sensed the 
changes and they have exploited them. They have felt the 
wave of the future and they have leapt upon it." No other 
countries are mentioned. Just Germany, Italy and Russia. 
Somehow, in some way, they must have in them a distin- 
guishing essential. Something that must be recognizable by 
their actions ; for they have "leapt" upon the wave of the 
future while others have not. 

Can it be that these countries have by their actions in- 
stilled in their peoples some new spirit that reveals itself 
in high morale in battle? Then Britain with its magnificent 
soul must be included; so must China. Then we have two 
waves of the future, clashing together where only one should 
be, and where only one can survive. But Britain is not in- 
cluded, nor China. 

Is it in their efficiency as war machines that these coun- 
tries differ? Then Russia should be ruled out, after its mis- 
erable campaign against Finland. And Italy failed lament- 
ably to qualify in Greece and Libya. 

No, it must be that the "totalitarians" possess some com- 
mon denominator in their relationship among men wherein 
they differ essentially from other nations. There must be 
some way in which men in these countries exchange goods 
and services and ideas, not found or at least not found to 
anything like the degree, among other peoples. 

Now there are only two ways open to man in the distribu- 
tion of goods or services. One is by the offering of goods or 
services in exchange for other goods and services, which 
is known as the market method; and the other is the as- 
sumption and distribution of goods and services by the gov- 
ernment. This latter is known as the "ration method." And 
it is just here, I submit, that the issue is joined. For in Ger- 
many, Italy and Russia goods and services are very largely 

May June, 1941 



distributed by the ration method with as little help from 
the market as they can manage, while in England and Amer- 
ica the market method is employed with as little rationing as 

Here, then, is the essential difference. The "democra- 
cies," as Mrs. Lindbergh scornfully calls them, still cling to 
the ideal of a free market, while Germany, Italy and Russia 
have turned to the ideology of a deliberately planned and 
administered economy. 

Of course Mrs. Lindbergh is very sincere in her railings 
against the barbarisms, the ruthlessness and the brutal ter- 
rors of the Gestapo, Ogpu and Fascist Secret Police. But 
underneath it all she is sure that these regimes are "in the 
essence, good." 

Perhaps she does not wish to reveal herself as a "planner," 
a "collectivist," a "totalitarian." Whatever the reasons for 
her restraint, I have sought carefully through the entire 
length of her book and have found not one single sentence, 
not one word, that tells us what there is about the "wave of 
the future" that is good. It is good because Mrs. Lindbergh 
hopes it is good. Helpless to tell us why, she is driven behind 
the oldest of all known alibis. She has "faith." The subtitle 
of her book is "A Confession of Faith." But because her 
faith is not built upon the deep-rooted rock of knowledge, 
she does well to confess. 

Mrs. Lindbergh can now be classified; we have found 
the proper pigeonhole in which to place her and her phi- 
losophy. She is an authoritarian collectivist who believes 
with Stuart Chase, George Soule and others that we can 
enjoy the supposed blessings of a planned economy without 
the attendant evils that have everywhere accompanied the 
effort to establish such a society. She is also either a believer 
in mystical predestination or in economic determinism. For 
"the wave of the future is coming, and there is no fight- 
ing it." 

Since Mrs. Lindbergh either could not or would not de- 
scribe for us the essential goodness to be found in a deliber- 
ately planned and administered economy, it devolves upon 
us to determine whether any such goodness exists. Let the 
reader fortify himself with some trusted headache remedy 
and now plunge into the talk of planning only one item, say 
shoes, in a controlled society. First, we must plan how many. 
Shall it be five million or twenty-five million ? Shall we give 
every person just one pair or three? Shall those who work 
outdoors have a greater number rationed to them than those 
who work indoors? If so, how much greater? How many 
styles shall we make? Shall we import cheap leather from 
Argentina so that we can spend more for other purposes, 
or shall we get the leather from our own country to encour- 
age home cattle- raising ? If we issue five pairs of shoes to 
every person how are we to know that it might not have 
raised the sum total of happiness by issuing only two pairs, 
using the excess time and labor for some other more de- 

sired purpose? If we decide to produce five instead of twen- 
ty-five million pairs how are we to know whether we have 
satisfied the relative demand? If the people really desire 
twenty-five million pairs, then those lucky enough to have 
received the five million will trade them illegally for enor- 
mous profits. This is done in Russia today on what is known 
as the "Black Bourse," and all the brutal tortures of the 
G.P.U. have not been able to suppress it. 

In short, in the absence of a competitive market, it is 
absolutely impossible to know how time and labor and nat- 
ural resources should best be used. 

People have a waywardness about them that does not 
conform well to plans that other people think ought to be 
good for them. And so when the plan is adopted the popu- 
lace must be made to conform. And in the effort to make 
them do so, recourse must be had to Gestapos, strict censor- 
ship, suppression of all dissent, and all the other phenomena 
of brutal state power that Mrs. Lindbergh so decries, but 
which she herself could not dispense with were she the 
most humane planner imaginable. 

This, of course, is not intended as a complete answer to 
the claims of the collectivists. For the absolute annihila- 
tion of all such claims the reader is recommended to Max 
Hirsch's "Democracy versus Socialism," Ludwig von Mises' 
"Socialism," and Walter Lippmann's "The Good Society." 

In identifying "the wave of the future" as simply the au- 
thoritative state, another idea of Mrs. Lindbergh breaks 
down. The "new social and economic forces" which the 
dictators of the totalitarian countries have learned to "ex- 
ploit" are seen to be ages old. 

Untold centuries ago, when the first rapacious hunting 
tribes swept down from the hills to conquer and terrorize 
and enslave the peace-loving agricultural communities, a 
State was set up differing in no essential from its modern 
counterpart. The entire history of civilization since that 
time is the story of man's efforts to free himself from the 
arbitrary control of bureaucratic officials to gain the free- 
dom to exchange goods and ideas without the interference 
of chieftains or dictators, priests or princes. There is, 
after all, but one way in which man can increase the sum 
total of his satisfactions, and that is by the continual division 
of labor in a free market. 

This process has been going on with ever greater refine- 
ments for thousands of years ; now held back by some Pha- 
raoh or Caesar, now bursting forth in full vigor as when 
King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta, or when 
the Bill of Rights was inserted in our Constitution. We are, 
as Lippman says, committed to a division-of-labor economy. 
Every attempt to interfere with it, every effort to control 
it to suit the ideas of only a part of society, whether a single 
dictator or a majority, has resulted in retrogression, brutal- 
ity, and enslavement. 

This is the lesson, the wisdom of thousands of years. 



May June, 1941 

But Mrs. Lindbergh tells us we must scrap all that. "The 
wave of the future is coming and there is no fighting it." 
No doubt Hannibal tried it out on the recalcitrant Roman 
Republicans. And Napoleon certainly used it to good effect 
until he ran point blank against some skeptics who looked 
askance at his inevitable "new order," and won a victory that 
released the whole of Europe from bondage, and opened 
the door to the latest phase of the great advance we call 
"the industrial revolution." 

Yet there is one thought that demands serious attention. 
That is Mrs. Lindbergh's cry for reform the plain, un- 
qualified statement that some kind of readjustment is nec- 
essary. That is true; it is self-evident. We cannot go on 
with depressions and wholesale unemployment, periodic 
wars, and wide-spread poverty. Remedial measures are nec- 
essary, and quickly. 

The trouble with Mrs. Lindbergh is not in her demand 
for reform but in her insistence that a particular kind of 
reform, totally unsuited to the economy to which we are 
irrevocably committed, must willy-nilly, sweep over us. 

That it may sweep over us if we do nothing about it, is 
true. And if it does; if England goes down, and America 
and China (whether from without or from within), then 
it is likely that our civilization will go as Rome went. For 
the ways in which a modern authoritarian state maintains 
itself are so much more powerful, its weapons are so deadly 
that successful revolt is well-nigh unthinkable. A scythe 
may stand some chance against a sword, but a fowling 
piece will not avail against a Bren gun. And though the 
citizens might occasionally rise up to "face the machine 
guns on the barricades," the charnel piles of their own dead 
would soon prevent their progress. They would succumb, 
and accept, and find their relief in circuses. Then, from the 
core out, like a puff ball, our civilization would rot, until, 
lightly tapped by a new tribe of Huns, it would burst all at 
once, leaving a ruin to be gazed on curiously as we now look 
on the pyramids or the debris of ancient Rome. 

This is what we will come to if we accept the "wave of 
the future." To prepare ourselves to accept it is not merely 
to carry coals to Newcastle ; it is, in a fit of absent-minded- 
ness, to leap into the furnace. 

Wilson A Follower of Henry George 

. J. WOOLF'S latest interview, printed in the New York 
Times, was with Henry Morgenthau, Sr., venerable 
father of the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Woolf re- 
ported Mr. Morgenthau as saying the following of Wood- 
row Wilson: "Mr. Wilson had but one prejudice. That 
was against wealth ; he believed that no man could honestly 
amass a million dollars in a lifetime. At heart he was a 
follower of Henry George and strongly objected to private 
profit accruing through the increase in land values." 

Assessing Land on Gross Value 


rriHE efforts of Georgeist reformers have been directed 
towards a change in the incidence of taxation. That 
is to say, we have urged in the municipal field the exemption 
of improvements and the transferring of taxation to land 
values. We have succeeded to an encouraging extent in 
having this done. In places where it has been done, the 
phenomenon has been noted that assessed land values in 
many cases have continued to rise whereas the intended 
purpose of land value taxation is to reduce eventually to 
remove entirely the selling value of land. One reason for 
the continued rise in land values is that there has been 
industrial expansion, and population has continued to 
increase, and there have been land booms which have kept 
land values increasing. 

In New Westminster, B. C., there has been a more static 
situation. Although many B. C. cities which formerly 
exempted improvements 100 percent have reverted to the 
taxation of improvements, New Westminster has continued 
up to the present to exempt buildings entirely. One reason 
which led municipalities to revert to the taxation of 
improvements in B. C. was the enactment of a statutory 
limit to the mill rate on land. When a municipality found 
that it could not raise the amount of revenue required on 
its land value assessment, without violating the provincial 
statutory limit, it was forced to tax improvements. That 
is not to ignore, of course, the pressure of land speculators 
against a system that interfered with their profits and the 
general ignorance on the part of the electorate of the merits 
of collecting economic rent. 

In the case of New Westminster its Council is faced with 
the fact that assessed land values have declined in the last 
ten years from $15,000,000 to $7,000,000 and it has stretched 
its mill rate to the statutory limk. To avoid having to tax 
buildings, it has used such means as poll taxes and fees for 
garbage collection to increase civic revenues. It is question- 
able if it can hold on much longer under the condition of 
declining assessment and a statutory limitation. 

Now, although New Westminster is a case in point, it 
should be borne in mind that any city on the land value 
taxation basis will meet a corresponding situation. That is 
to say, as land value taxation gets in its beneficient work 
of taking the selling value out of land, assessed land values 
based on selling price will go down, and along with them 
civic revenues will fall. 

When states, provinces and national taxing authorities 
levy on land values, the decline will be accelerated. There 
is need therefore of a formula which will bridge the gap 
during this evolutionary process. Such a formula has been 
evolved by a Canadian Georgeist, Mr. E. S. Woodward, 
economic consultant of Vancouver, B. C., and it seems to 
this writer that Mr. Woodward's formula meets the situ- 

May June, 1941 



ation admirably. It would handle New Westminster's 
problem, and that of any other municipality where land 
value taxation has begun to take selling value out of land. 

Inasmuch as taxing authorities, so far as the present 
writer's knowledge goes, favor selling value as a basis of 
assessment or what is called in Australia the unimproved 
capital value, it is assumed that that would be the starting 
point of any change in the system of untaxing improvements 
and levying on land values instead. Either that, or an 
entirely new valuntion based on the capitalized taxation 
must be made. However, Mr. Woodward's formula has 
obvious merits, and it is time now to set it forth. 

In Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., land is now 
assessed for taxation purposes on selling of market value 
or on the unimproved capital value. This, Mr. Woodward 
holds, is net value which is the owner's equity. The real 
value, however, of land is its gross value, the value before 
the tax is considered. The difference between the selling 
value and the gross value is the city's or state's equity. By 
his formula, where the owner's equity goes down due to an 
increase in taxation, the state's equity goes up or vice 
versa. The result is that the gross assessment is stabilized, 
and municipal or state administrators will always have a 
more stable base on which to draw up their budgets. 
Mr. Woodward demonstrates his theory as follows: 
Actual Gross Value can be denned as the "sum of the 
equities." It is the city's equity, i. e., the annual taxation 
capitalized plus the owner's equity. Gross value is compar- 
atively stable. It can be changed gradually by population 
trends. It cannot be changed or disturbed merely by tax 
fluctuations. To illustrate : 

A parcel of land now assessed at (owner's equity) .$ 500 

And taxed at $25 capitalized at 20 years purchase 

(city's equity) 500 

Has a gross value of 1,000 

A change in taxation from $25 to $30 would reduce 

the actual sale value to (owner's equity) 400 

And increase the City's equity to 600 

But would leave the gross value undisturbed at 1,000 

I shall show that the question I am raising is one of much 
importance to building trade revival and to the cause of 
securing needed tax reductions. Let me point out first its 
legal dangers. The present practice of using the net 
residuary value of land as the taxation base makes it 
impossible for any assessor to defend the assessment roll in 
the appeal court, if the assessment roll was correct before 
the new mill rate was struck, it becomes automatically 
wrong after ike new mill rate is struck. If the privilege 
of acquiring title to a lot taxed at $25 a year is worth $500 
cash, no assessor can argue that it is still worth $500 cash 
when the taxes are raised to $30 a year. Woodward's point 
that the present system induces numerous claims for adjust- 
ment in courts of revision which would be remedied by the 
adoption of the system of gross value is an important one. 

Having some curiosity to find out what would be the 
effect of Mr. Woodward's plan if adopted in Canada, I have 
worked it out as follows : 

Canada's peace time budgets for 1939-40 were about 
$900,000,000 for the three levels of government municipal, 
provincial and federal. (The sources are customs, excise, 
sales tax, income, succession, gasoline, corporations, royal- 
ties, rents, improvements, land values, miscellaneous). From 
that figure should be deducted certain revenues that would 
likely be kept under any system for some time to come 
such as super-income and super- inheritance taxes, fines, 
court fees, vital statistics fees, government services, liquor 
revenues, motor registration fees, etc., and that total would 
be reduced to say $700,000,000. Capitalized, that sum 
would give us a base of $14,000,000,000 as the gross value 
of land. With a population estimated at 11,000,000, the 
land values per capita would be $1,278 quite a moderate 
figure. As a check, Saskatchewan's land values per capita 
in 1936 were $1,002 these are the highest for Canada of 
any Province. 

At present, assessed land values of Canada net are only 
about $4,000,000,000, so they would be stepped up SVfc 
times under the gross value formula. At present, I estimate 
that we do not take in economic rent more than $200,000,- 
000. On the gross value of $14 billions, a rate of 50 mills 
(5%) would produce the $700,000,000 needed, and could 
probably be shaded owing to the simplification of the 
functions of government, the reduced cost of public aid and 
social services to the unemployed, etc. 



The formula presented by Mr. Woodward is a most 
important one. My associates and I thoroughly agree with it. 

This problem of a declining market value or selling price 
of land in the face of an increasing land value tax rate when 
used as the tax assessing base was given considerable study 
by the Graded Tax Committee in preparing a graded tax 
bill for introduction in the New York City Council. The 
Committee worked out the problem in precisely the same 
way as did Mr. Woodward, with precisely the same result. 

The same formula has been adopted by our American 
Association for Scientific Taxation, in the Legislative 
Framework for the Philosophy of Henry George. Our 
term "full value (of land) as though unimproved and free 
from tax" corresponds in meaning exactly with Mr. Wood- 
ward's "gross value." That is, it includes the selling price 
as well as the capitalization of the annual tax. These two 
added together make up the gross value, or full economic 

We think the terms used by Mr. Woodward "owner's 
equity" and "city or state equity," making up gross value 
are particularly happy, and help clarify a problem that has 
puzzled many people. 



May June, 1941 

Political and Economic Freedom in Great Britain 


~1T[7"HILST the military struggle to preserve political 
liberty gathers momentum, the political struggle to 
extend liberty to the economic sphere hangs fire, and in 
Great Britain it is almost entirely suspended. Under the 
truce between the three main political parties any agita- 
tion for the redress of economic grievances is regarded as 
unpatriotic and a hindrance to the war effort. It is not 
realized or admitted that to remove injustices is to remove 
those causes of friction which are the real obstacles to na- 
tional unity. Recent speeches by Labor leaders and others, 
which outline a new and better social order after the war, 
have been criticized by Right Wing spokesmen as a breach 
of the party truce. The hope of a juster and freer system, 
which is the chief incentive to continued endurance by the 
people, is discouraged and discounted already. At the same 
time, ancient monopolies like landlordism take advantage 
of the fact that the progressive parties are not pressing 
their economic objectives. Party activity is suspended, 
though the Conservative Party retains its huge majority in 
Parliament. There is talk of a continuance of the truce after 
the war and a more or less indefinite postponement of any 
General Election. This inactivity seems to be the cause of 
a great decline in membership and subscriptions of the 
official Labor Party as distinct from the Trade Union move- 

In spite, however, of the political truce, a measure of 
economic freedom has been enjoyed for a time by certain 
classes of workers. The great demand for skilled labor in 
war production gave a new power of individual bargaining 
not hitherto enjoyed by operatives and economic power 
greater than that usually achieved by trade union or strike 
methods. The much despised and misunderstood law of 
demand and supply for once worked in favor of the worker 
and caused a higher wage level and a greater mobility of 
labor. Ordinarily men and women could for once pick and 
choose their jobs and determine to a large extent what their 
earnings should be. This was not everywhere the case, but 
it was an indication of what happens when there are more 
openings for willing workers than there are workers to fill 
them. It showed also that the wage-slave status can be re- 
moved by economic means without political violence. The 
lesson plainly is that such political power as men have must 
be used to achieve this free economic status as a perma- 
nency; and that, of course, means the freeing of all the nat- 
ural resources of the earth from monopoly so as to create 
innumerable opportunities for employment. 

The brief spell of economic liberty, and the higher wages 
resulting, are now being checked by various forms of in- 
dustrial compulsion under cover of the party truce. The 


mobility of labor is no longer allowed to flow freely along 
the economic channels of the best reward, but is being can- 
alized by bureaucratic direction. Men and women workers 
must now go where they are sent, stay where they are put, 
and take what they are given. Lord Halifax in his recent 
great speech condemned Hitler's "New Order" because it 
"involves the shackling of industry and commerce, ruthless 
compulsion in place of free contract." This "compulsion in 
place of free contract" is being justified in Great Britain as 
a factor in the struggle to maintain political liberties. The 
tragedy in the past has been that the workers in every 
country have not known what to do with political franchises 
when won, and have largely failed to use them as the means 
to win full economic emancipation. 

An interesting light is thrown on the present state com- 
pulsion of industry by the terms of the manifesto of Church 
leaders which was referred to in our previous article, in the 
March-April issue of LAND AND FREEDOM. Related to the 
principle that the earth's resources should be used for the 
benefit of all, there was the further point that "the sense of 
a Divine vocation must be restored to man's daily work." 
This principle that a man's work should be undertaken be- 
cause he believes it to be his "calling" and the divine pur- 
pose of his life, is a noble vision. It lifts all human labor to 
a higher plane. One wonders, however, if the high ecclesi- 
astical dignitaries have grasped its far-reaching implications. 
It cannot be reconciled with the checking of economic pro- 
cesses by industrial conscription. 

History warns us that whilst struggling for religious and 
political freedom men may find they have lost their eco- 
nomic freedom and with it all the real fruits of their religious 
and political sacrifices. Examples enough are provided in 
British history. Now that world federation is being every- 
where discussed, the lessons of the "federation of Great 
Britain" should not be missed. Scottish people rightly boast 
that the Union was consummated, not by conquest, but by 
dynastic and political factors. The land laws of England and 
Scotland are distinct in many ways, and Scotland enjoys a 
considerable measure of independence. In the struggle for 
religious freedom Scotland has a proud record. It is signifi- 
cant, in fact, how much of the history of the Reformation is 
bound up with economic and social revolt. But, whilst Scot- 
land was splitting up into so many sects, the landowners were 
allowed to walk off with the people's liberties. The Scots 
thought that, in their fierce religious disputes and the contest 
between the Free and the Established Churches, they were 
preserving their souls, whilst all the time the land was being 
taken from under their feet. Trying to make peace with the 
Lord above they were being starved by the Lords below. 

May June, 1941 



Scotland became a "Forbidden Land," as a review of a 
book by Dr. E. A. Baker under that title, in the March 
Land & Liberty, shows. The Highland clearances went on 
parallel with the long struggles which won Scottish political 
and religious freedom. 

When, in 1843, the Scottish Free Church disestablished 
and disendowed itself, and over 400 ministers came out of 
the State Church and were looking for new sites of land 
to carry on divine worship, we read that land was refused 
them all over the country, the chief offenders being the 
Dukes of Buccleuch and Sutherland. 

In Froude's "Carlyle" will be found the story of "Jenny 
Fraser versus the Duke of Buccleuch." When the Duke 
heard that Jenny was about to bequeath to the Free Church 
her "Naboth's vineyard," the only patch he did not control 
in the Parish of Penpont, he sent his agent to bid any money 
for the plot. His offers mounted rapidly. But in Carlyle's 
words, "Jenny is deaf as whinstone though poor nearly as 
Job ; she answers always, 'I got it from the Lord, and I will 
give it to the Lord.' " The garden patch was too small for 
the purpose, the wall had to be tapered on one side, and the 
bend is still called the "Duke's Elbow." 

Such is the relation of a free land system to freedom of 
conscience and of worship! 

We are slow to learn that there can be no complete liberty 
in political or religious life if men are economically in 
chains. We are all "beleaguered" today, for such is the 
true interpretation of our present system which allows land- 
withholding for speculative purposes. As effectively as any 
enemy draws his U boat or E boat cordon around his 
blockaded or besieged town or territory, so does this land 
monopoly encircle us now. We shall learn this again when 
the war is over, for no business can start or restart unless 
it is willing to come to terms with those who today are 
buying land for "investment purposes." The door of 
industry is bolted and barred, and it is double-locked by 
the vicious forms of taxation which the State and the munic- 
ipality will at once impose upon any who try to turn the 
key in the lock. 

There can be no truce with this iniquity, whatever the 
British political parties agree upon. It is therefore gratify- 
ing to report that a Memorandum signed by twenty-four 
M.P.'s has been submitted to the Chancellor of the Excheq- 
uer, urging him to put into operation a tax on land value. 
Following this up, a deputation comprising Messrs. Wedg- 
wood, Glenvil Hall, R. R. Stokes, and F. C. R. Douglas was 
received by the Financial Secretary on February 19. The 
hopes, however, that their strong representations might have 
some effect have not been fulfilled. There is no reference 
to Land Values in the new Budget. No notice is taken of 
the cogent arguments put forth in the Memorandum, which 
is reported in full in Land & Liberty for March. One of 
its paragraphs is as follows : "The whole wealth of this 

country is, in the end, the product of its land and the labor 
of its people, or derived from exchanging that product for 
the products of other countries. There need be no unemploy- 
ment and no enforced poverty arising therefrom if all the 
natural resources are put to their fullest and best use. The 
most far-reaching, effective and continuous method of assur- 
ing that land is fully utilized is to require payment of a 
tax on its site value, whether it is used or unused." 

[Mr. Owen promises in his next article to analyze the Budget 
proposals and the discussions thereon. ED.] 

The Country of the Future 


OOMEWHERE in time remote and far 
^ The boundaries of that country reach 
From Southern seas to Polar star, 

To all who are of human speech. 
What matter medleys strange of tongue 

Where smiles are language where they tell 
Their story to a world grown young 
Of Love at last made audible. 

How gloriously bounded then, 

The Land that craves not War's renown 
Eastward by love of yellow men, 

and northward by the love of brown. 
Bounded by love of all men East, 

And by the love of all men West, 
The arms of highest and the least 

Are shields about their breast. 

No Hun or Vandal horde prevails 

O'er land where serfs are not, nor lords, 
Though here are playgrounds that were jails, 

And plowshares that were swords. 
Nor eye their boundary descries 

Who flung from them all vulgar fears, 
Nor are the slopes of Paradise 

Wider than their frontiers ! 

God waits upon that people they 

Who find their soul what time they choose, 
And gain their glory on the day 

They their dominions lose. 
God waits them from His templed cloud 

He seeks them with a patient eye 
The people who, no longer proud, 

Build empires in the sky! 



May June, 1941 

Population and Land Values 

The Sydney Rating System 

By A. G. HUIE 

NE of the pretenses set up by critics of land value rat- 
ing is that it will promote overcrowding and the de- 
velopment of slums. It is suggested that as buildings will 
be exempt from rates landowners will seek to make more 
intensive and undesirable use of land. As this is a land spec- 
ulator's argument it is, while plausible, suspect. 

Sydney has no slums in the sense that they are known 
in the older cities of the world. There are to be sure many 
poor dwellings in the older portions of the city and nearer 
suburbs. We speak of them as slums and many of them are 
regarded as being unfit for habitation. Judged by modern 
standards this is correct. 

It must, however, be clearly understood that all these 
"slum" buildings were erected long before rating on land 
values became practical politics. In the old days, every 
building was rated as soon as it was erected. If additions 
were made the rates were increased. Rating houses meant 
inferior houses crowded together and a good time for land 

With rating on land values a great change came over the 
scene. Population spread out and better houses were built. 
We are able to submit a table of figures which confirms this 
view in a way which should satisfy anyone but a land specu- 
lator. We have divided the Sydney district into six zones. 

For each area we give the acreage and population in 1908 
and in 1937 a period of 20 years. It includes the whole of 
what is known as the metropolitan area. It consists of the 
city of Sydney, its 48 suburban municipalities and three 
suburban shires. 

We have also added six areas to the outer zone because 
they are as near and as much suburban areas as others which 
are included. That is a total of 53 municipalities and five 
shires in all, 58 local governing areas. That is an even 
more accurate statement of what is really Sydney than the 
area recognized officially. 


The table below shows that the living populations have 
declined in the two inner areas while they have increased 
in the outer areas where the people have much more room. 


City of Sydney . . . 3,220 127,460 39.58 88,270 27.41 

Second Zone 5,264 165,450 31.40 156,500 29.73 

Third Zone 15,527 143,300 9.02 275,190 17.73 

Fourth Zone 36,078 104,292 2.89 371,900 10.31 

Fifth Zone 95,191 93,890 .99 378,270 3.97 

Sixth Zone 501,868 35,060 .05 120,660 .24 


657,148 669,452 1.02 1,390,790 

It will be seen that there has been a substantial drop in 
population in the City. That, however, refers to the resident 

population. The working population has substantially in- 
creased. For example, in one building 1,000 persons are em- 
ployed where a few years ago there were only a small num- 
ber in old buildings on that site. 

In other parts of the city factories and warehouses have 
been built, employing many hands. Formerly the land was 
occupied by old terraces. The bulk of the people who work 
in the city live in the outer suburbs. In the second zone the 
building of factories has gone on to a lesser extent. Here 
also there has been a decline in the resident population. 


Let us now see how the resident population has declined 
in the two inner areas and increased in the outer. 

ZONE 1008 

City of Sydney 127,460 

Second Zone 165,450 

88,270 30.74 

156,500 5.41 

There you have a definite decline where population was 
densest, when rating on land values was established. It is 
clear evidence that land value rating has not crowded the 
people together. 

Third Zone 143,300 

Fourth Zone 104,292 

Fifth Zone 93,800 

Sixth Zone 35,o6o 

275,190 92.03 

371,900 256.59 
378,270 302.88 

120,660 197.46 

669,452 1,390,790 107.75 

The greatest increase is in the fifth zone where the popu- 
lation now is barely four to the acre. These figures should 
show clearly how the population has spread out since the 
adoption of rating on land values. 

Let us now consider the movement in land values. The 
greatest increase is in the fifth zone where the increase in 
population was also greatest. 

ZONE L. V. 1908 L. V. 1937 INCREASE P. C. OF INC. 

City of Sydney 20,207,812 47,822,749 27,614,937 136.65 

Second Zone .... 







5 985,104 




Fifth Zone .... 

5 274 TO8 

29 649 oi i 







47,719,737 150,196,560 102,476,787 214.74 

The increases in land values in the inner areas reflect the 
increases in the daily working population. In the outer areas 
they are due to the increases in the resident population. It 
is quite clear from these figures that rates on land values, 
such as have been imposed under our system of local gov- 
ernment have not prejudiced the source of local revenue, as 
land values have increased at a greater rate than the popu- 
lation. This confirms our view as to the ability of land rents 
to provide all necessary public revenue. 

May June, 1941 



The Critics Criticized 


[This is the fourth of a series of articles by the same author, 
dealing with the objections of noted economists to the doctrine of 
Henry George, and the refutation of such objections. The first in 
the series, published in the November-December 1940 issue, answered 
the objections of Prof. F. W. Taussig. The second, in the January- 
February 1941 issue, answered those of Prof. H. R. Seager. The 
third, in the March-April 1941 issue, dealt with a contemporary of 
Henry George, J. B. Miller. ED.] 

TTAVING answered some early critics of Henry George, 
** I shall now turn to two modern critics, whose jointly 
written book appears in most reputable public and college 
libraries. The book is, "Economic Problems of Modern 
Life," and the authors are Prof. S. Howard Patterson and 
Prof. Karl W. H. Scholz (McGraw-Hill Co.). 

(Samuel Howard Patterson, born in 1892, is a Professor of 
Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of 
several works on economic and social subjects. He is a member of 
the Pennsylvania State Educational Association, the American 
Economic Association, the American Association for Labor Legis- 
lation, and other societies. 

Karl William Henry Scholz, born in 1886, is also a Professor of 
Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the economic 
advisor of the Business Clinic, Inc., and a member of the Economic 
Association and the Academy of Political and Social Science.) 

In "Economic Problems of Modern Life," the following 
objections to the single tax are presented: 

1 Communities may develop varying rents, and a 
rapidly growing community might not derive sufficient 
revenues from the single tax to keep pace with its various 
collective needs. 

2 A single tax would be undesirable, as there are 
other monopolies which would then not be taxed. 

3 It would be inflexible; it could not be increased to 
meet urgent public requirements in times of national 

4 It would involve wholesale confiscation of land. 

5 It would be difficult to administer, since it is prac- 
tically impossible to distinguish between capital invested 
in permanent improvements on land, and unimproved 
lands. To appropriate the entire income from improve- 
ments would be to impose a tax in part upon the fruitt 

of human labor. (Sic) 

* * * 

The following are my answers to the aforementioned 


The fear that a rapidly growing community might not 
derive sufficient revenue from the single tax ii easily 
assuaged by the fact that as a community grows, rent grows 
with it. Rent itself is an indicator of the rise of the people's 

needs. The greater the needs, the greater becomes the 
demand for land and the greater becomes the value of such 
land. Thus rent is always a measuring rod of the people's 
fluctuating demands. 


It is true that under the single tax other monopolies 
would not be directly taxed, but such taxation is not neces- 
sary. All monopolies are based either on the private owner- 
ship of land or on inequalities which are the result of such 
ownership. The shutting off of productive enterprises by 
land monopoly results in unhealthy growths which feed 
upon the natural production of the community. These 
cancers, which we call monopolies, would disappear with 
the abolition of private ownership of land. With free 
access to the resources of nature, labor would receive wages 
commensurate with its produce, and capital would receive 
real, not spurious, interest. The competition of a free market 
would tend to destroy monopolistic practices. 


If a national emergency should arise, the cost of which 
could not be covered by rent, the temporary recourse to 
other forms of taxation would not be an argument against 
the single tax any more than the sacrificing of human life 
during an emergency would be an argument against the 
preservation of life. However, it is difficult to imagine 
any emergency that could not be met by the rent of land. 
Furthermore, it is no argument at all to say that, because 
the single tax might not be sufficient, and might cause us 
to resort to other forms of taxation, we should therefore 
retain all the taxes we have today, most of which brutally 
stifle production. 


The authors probably imagine that by using the word 
"confiscation" they will frighten people away from the 
single tax. It apparently does not occur to them that the 
word "confiscation" could much more justifiably be applied 
to our present system, in which human labor is continually 
being confiscated by the pompous "owners" of God's earth. 

If the solution to our present-day ills were confiscation of 
land, it should not be regarded as a terrible thing. How- 
ever, single taxers do not propose to confiscate land, or even 
titles. The present owners would be welcome to remain on 
the land they now "own," if they pay the full rent to the 
community. Only such rent would be collected, and since 
the community itself creates the rent, certainly its collection 
cannot be called "confiscation." 


This fifth objection is the one which appears most fre- 
quently as a refutation of the single tax. I have already 
answered it twice in previous articles, and believe that I 
can now state categorically that it is possible to distinguish 
between land and improvements. 



May June, 1941 

The second part of the professors' fifth objection is 
somewhat obscure. Do they mean that under the single 
tax improvements would be taxed? If so, it is simple to 
point out that the single tax is one tax placed upon land 
values only. Whether improved or not, land bearing the 
same rental would be taxed equally. Improvements do not 
cause the rise of rent ; the true cause is the growth of the 
community, which results both in improvements and the 
rise of rent. 

Primitive Concepts of Property 


IN his work, Les Noirs d'Afrique (Payot, Paris), Maurice 
Delafosse gives the following interesting particulars on 
the conceptions of the African natives in respect to landed 
property : 

The land, according to the natives, does not belong to any 
individual ; neither does it belong to the whole community, 
as has often been erroneously averred. It is considered as 
belonging to the original inhabitants, or to the local deities 
who succeeded these pioneers, and represent them. In fact, 
the land itself is a deity whom nobody dares to think of ap- 
propriating ! However, by offers and sacrifices, regulated by 
the proper rituals, the black family that first reaches an 
unoccupied site acquires from the local deity the right and 
privilege to use the land. This right is handed down from 
one generation to the next. In the hands of appointed ethnic 
groups, formed by the descendants of the first family, rights 
and privileges to use the land can be granted to others (gra- 
tuitously or otherwise), after the necessary rituals. How- 
ever, there is no absolute ownership, or transference of own- 

Every community possessing rights and privileges to use 
a given site has a chief who is usually the patriarch of the 
oldest family and bears the name, "master of the land." He 
is also the leading priest of the local religion but not neces- 
sarily the political leader. Even when the tribe falls under 
the yoke of another conquering tribe, the "master of the 
land" retains an intangible prestige. The political chief can 
do nothing without this master when there is the question 
of a sacrifice for the local deities, or a distribution of land. 
The conquest gives no rights over the land. The most out- 
standing Negro conquerors have respected this tradition. 

The African natives do recognize private ownership of 
the products of labor. The worker possesses the fruits of his 
labor, and can decide how to use, give, sell or borrow it. The 
product of the individual's labor passes to his successors 
upon his death. The things produced by the community are 
collectively owned, and only the community can dispose of 
them. The agricultural worker, while not owning his land, 
does own the grain he sows and reaps. 

The findings of M. Delafosse coincide with the observa- 
tions of Mr. Josiah Wedgwood, our fellow Georgeist of 
the English Parliament, during his sojourn in Nigeria and 
South Africa, where the flourishing towns of Kano, East 
London and Johannesburg adapted the Georgean principles 
to the native legislation. 

Turning now to the American Indian, it is certain that 
the concept of absolute ownership of land was foreign to 
the red man. In an article in the National Geographic Maga- 
zine (1936), the author relates the pathetic story of the 
transaction between the Indian and the Dutch Peter Minuit, 
whereby the latter obtained the island of Manhattan for 
the equivalent of $24. The author explains that the Indian 
chief certainly mistook the importance of the act, which he 
interpreted as a temporary authorization to the use of the 
land, but not as a definite cession forever. He adds that 
there was no other mistake in the relations between the 
American pioneers and the natives which cost more blood 
than this conflict of ideas on land tenure. 

I sometimes wonder if this Indian conception of property 
did not prepare the mind of Henry George to solve the 
riddle of the Sphinx of modern civilization. Unconsciously 
influenced by the conceptions of his red-skinned country- 
men, George found the "commonplace reply of a passing 
teamster to a commonplace question," enough to crystallize 
"as by lightning-flash, my brooding thoughts into coherency, 
and I there and then recognized the natural order . . ." 

In addition to the blacks and the reds, we also find evi- 
dence of the same conceptions of landed property in the 
yellow race. The German land reformer, Schrameyer, as 
governor of the Chinese colony of Kiauchiou, applied the 
single tax reform, and found that it was applicable to the 
old Chinese land laws. His reform caused the insignificant 
seaport of Kiauchiou to become within a few years one of 
the most important ports in China. 

The similarity of all these primitive conceptions on land 
in reference to property and use calls to mind the words 
of Henry George ("Progress and Poverty," B. VII, Ch. 4) : 
"The common right to land has everywhere been primarily 
recognized, and private ownership has nowhere grown up 
save as the result of usurpation. The primary and persistent 
perceptions of mankind are that all have an equal right to 
land . . . Wherever we can trace the early history of society, 
whether in Asia, in Europe, in Africa, in America, or in 
Polynesia, land has been considered as the necessary re- 
lations which human life has to it would lead to its consid- 
eration as common property, in which the rights of all 
who had admitted rights were equal." 

FREE COPY of LAND AND FREEDOM is an invitation 
to become a subscriber. 

May June, 1941 



Three Theories of Rent 


[The following article challenges the orthodox conception of rent 
and sets forth a new theory that, in the author's words, "represents 
a sharp break from the Ricardian concept." The first part of the 
article is presented herewith ; the second and concluding part will 
appear in our next issue, following which appropriate comment 
will be made. ED.] 

N these days of economic depression, wars and political 
* confusion, the rent question assumes a position of para- 
mount importance. Current literature dealing with govern- 
mental regulation of industry and so-called rugged 
individualism, democracy and dictatorship, statism and 
individual rights, is, for the most part, merely a repetition 
of what has been written in the past and indicates no aware- 
ness whatsoever of the real significance of the phenomenon 
of rent* in modern society. It is my firm belief that a clear 
understanding of this phenomenon would throw a brilliant 
light on all the economic and political problems that are 
plaguing mankind today and would eventually lead to their 

I do not believe that it is claiming too much to say that 
those who have been engaged in serious, scientific investi- 
gations on this subject, may be classed among the advanced 
thinkers of this age. A great deal of progress has been 
achieved, but, as is inevitable in all such investigations, 
different opinions and different conclusions are bound to 
arise when a certain stage of development has been reached 
and lines of thought diverge in the shape of definite and 
mutually opposing theories. Therefore, it seems to me 
appropriate at this time to reappraise these various theories 
with a view to eradicating those beliefs that are based on 
mere opinion or assumption and to retaining those that 
have been tested by the facts of life. Naturally, I am 
addressing this to those readers who are scientifically- 
minded, and who, therefore, knowing that they do not 
possess the whole truth, are eager and fearless enough to 
tread unfamiliar paths in order to gain, if possible, more 
enlightenment on this very important matter. Now, as lack 
of space is the controlling factor, the following examination 
cannot possibly be an exhaustive one. I shall only offer the 
highlights of each theory and hope that the reader will be 
inspired by my few deductions and conclusions to develop 
them further himself. 

Broadly speaking, there are three schools of thought 
relating to the nature of rent. The first frankly supports 
the Ricardian concept and numerically is the strongest of 

* Ground rent, as distinguished from the payment that is made for 
the use of a building, a machine or any other article. 

the three. I shall call this school the Ricardian. The second 
formally rejects the Ricardian theory; but while it repre- 
sents an advance in some respects over the old theory, it 
nevertheless contains certain Ricardian characteristics. This 
school, therefore, I shall refer to as the neo-Ricardian. The 
third advances a theory that represents a sharp break from 
the Ricardian concept and differs also from the neo-Ri- 
cardian in that it insists upon an accurate description of 
economic life as it is today. It contains the seed of a revo- 
lution in economic and political thought. I shall call this 
the Realistic School. 

The Ricardians 

The Ricardian theory is accepted by most academic econ- 
omists with varying qualifications. Briefly, it is this : Rent 
is the excess of wealth that is produced on land over that 
which an equivalent amount of labor can produce on the 
poorest land in use i. e., on free land at the margin. 
According to this theory, the best land is cultivated, first, 
but interpreted broadly, the superiority of land is 
determined, not only by its fertility as compared with that 
of land at the margin, but also by its proximity to the 
markets and to governmental and cultural advantages. It 
is assumed that the landowner is a non-productive individual 
and is in no way responsible for either the existence of these 
advantages or their availability. 

The favorite example that is offered to prove that rent is 
determined by the difference between the products of differ- 
ent grades of land is this: A goes to an island and makes 
a good living by using a portion of the land. B follows and 
finds with the same degree of exertion that he can only 
make a poor living as compared with A by using the other 
land available to him. The difference between these two 
standards of living is regarded as rent. In this illustration, 
nothing is said about government services, and so we must 
assume that no such services exist. In other words, as 
there are no policemen to protect A from the encroachments 
of B, A could not prevent B from sharing the better land 
if the latter were envious of his favorable location, unless 
he devoted part of his time and labor to standing guard. 
While he stood guard, he could not produce any wealth, so 
that in all probability, he would not be able to profit from 
his use of the better land. Thus the products of the two 
grades of land would tend to an equality and no rent would 
arise. A could only enjoy a higher standard of living if he 
were stronger and more skilled than B, but in that case the 
difference would be wages, not rent. 



May June, 1941 

But let us assume now that A enjoys the benefit of police 
protection. In one week, he can produce 10 bushels of 
corn. In the same time with an equal amount of labor and 
skill, B can only produce five bushels of corn. As A's 
excess of five bushels was made possible only by the police 
protection, he is compelled to turn it over to the policemen 
as their compensation. Thus his superior location avails 
him nothing, and he finds that he is living in a fool's para- 

Looking at the matter from another angle, let us suppose 
that no policemen are necessary, that B recognizes A's 
absolute right to his land and makes no attempt to disturb 
him. In this case, A would certainly enjoy a decided 
advantage and the excess of his product over that of B the 
Ricardians would term rent. But is the question as simple 
as all that ? Where in civilized society does such a situation 
as this exist or ever did exist? Not by the wildest stretch 
of the imagination can we tie it up with economic life as 
we know it. Such a situation represents a purely primitive 
economy in other words, an individual economy whereas 
we are living in an exchange economy. If the Ricardians 
are to prove their case, their theory must be applicable to 
an exchange society. They might try to make such an 
application by claiming that B would be willing to pay A 
five bushels for the use of the better land. It is doubtful 
if B would do this, for after such a payment his standard 
of living would be no higher than he enjoyed when he used 
the poorer land. If he paid only four bushels, then rent 
would not be the excess product but only part of the excess 
product. And if B were willing to pay four bushels for a 
one-bushel advantage, it is just as reasonable to expect that 
A would be willing to accept only one bushel as rent in 
exchange for a four-bushel advantage. In other words, 
rent might be anything from one bushel to five bushels, but 
this would be inconsistent with the original Ricardian 
assumption that rent is the excess product. 

In order to give this theory as fair a test as possible, 
let us assume that instead ofS\ and B exchanging products 
for land, they perceive the advantage of exchanging 
products for products. In order to be on a par with A, B 
would produce something else besides corn say potatoes. 
They sell them or part of them in the open market. The 
same amount of labor and skill has produced twice as much 
corn as potatoes. Thus B would receive in exchange twice 
as much wealth for a bushel of potatoes as A would for a 
bushel of corn. Ten bushels of corn then would be equal 
in value to five bushels of potatoes, and as A would enjoy 
no excess, no rent would arise. 

The conclusion that we must draw, therefore, is that no 
one can profit from the natural advantages attaching to 
land, whether he be a farmer, a manufacturer, a banker or 
a landowner. No rent is paid for such advantages. They 
are equalized through the process of exchange. The law 

of the market is that nothing can demand a return that has 
not been brought into existence, either directly or through 
exchange, by the labor of the seller himself. If A did not 
own the land but rented it from someone, he could not 
afford to pay any rent without risking bankruptcy. He 
could only pay rent if he enjoyed some advantage or service 
at his location which could not be dissipated by exchange, 
and if at the same time he were a better laborer than B 
and produced more wealth. Such service could not with- 
stand dissipation unless it were the result of human exertion. 
The Ricardians, however, claim that men of equal ability 
use different grades of land, and it is this false assumption 
that prevents them from adequately explaining the phe- 
nomenon of rent. In actual life, only the ablest men use 
the best land. As we cannot compare the products of men 
of different abilities, we cannot logically say that rent is 
determined by the excess of wealth produced on land over 
that which is produced on the poorest land in use. Rent is 
not a differential except in the sense that the price of any- 
thing is a differential, for if the foregoing reasoning is 
correct, the margin cannot be considered as a factor in 
determining rent. 

The Neo-Ricardians 

This school seems to recognize the law of the market so 
far as it concerns the cooperation of nature, i. e., they insist 
that rent cannot be charged for the free gifts of nature. 
According to them, rent is payment for governmental and 
social services. The social services consist of transportation 
systems, theatres, churches, commercial and professional 
establishments and private museums, art galleries, schools 
and hospitals. It is admitted by the neo-Ricardians that 
the direct services of these agencies are compensated for in 
the prices that individuals pay for them. Thus, a person 
who benefits from the service rendered by a theatre pays the 
price at the box office, the person who attends a school 
pays the tuition fee and so on. But it is contended that in 
addition to the direct services rendered by these agencies, 
they render an indirect or "stand-by" service for which they 
are not compensated. By establishing themselves near 
certain locations and holding themselves ready to satisfy 
the demands of the occupants of sites, they make these sites 
more valuable. This "stand-by" service is paid for in the 
rent that goes into the pockets of landowners, according to 
the neo-Ricardians. They admit, however, that these enter- 
prisers must carry the overhead cost of this "stand-by" 

Now it is a matter of business practice that all the costs 
of a business concern are included in the price of the article 
or service it sells, for otherwise it would be forced to dis- 
continue operations. In fact, a large part of the service 
rendered by business or professional men consists of "stand- 
by" services, and there is no valid reason for drawing a 

May June, 1941 



distinction between "actual" services and "stand-by" ser- 
vices. The owner of a retail store, for instance, carries 
goods on his shelves for a long period before selling them 
and he employs salesmen to wait for customers to come in 
at their convenience. The cost of carrying these goods 
consists of depreciation, obsolescence and interest on his own 
or borrowed capital, and the cost of waiting for customers 
consists of the rent he pays for his store and the salaries 
of his salesmen. All these costs are included in the prices 
he charges. It is claimed that because the occupant of the 
site must pay more rent due to these "stand-by" services, he 
has less in hand with which to buy the "actual" services of 
these private enterprises and so these enterprises suffer. 
If he paid less rent, he could buy additional "actual" ser- 
vices, and this, "it is said, would compensate for the cost 
of the "stand-by" services. How some men stay in business 
a long time and show profits without being compensated for 
these "stand-by" services, the neo-Ricardians fail to explain. 
The assertions they have made in this connection are mere 
assumptions not verified by observed facts. They have no 
place in a scientific investigation. 

We have eliminated the natural advantages of land (in- 
cluding proximity to the markets) and social services as 
elements in the determination of rent and have left now 
only the governmental or public services. But while the 
first two do not give any value to sites, they do give the 
sites utility. Value and utility, however, are not the same 
thing, and I believe that it is the failure to distinguish 
between them that leads to erroneous conclusions. The 
neo-Ricardians correctly state that a man is free to purchase 
public services such as highways, police and fire protection, 
sewerage systems, libraries, sanitation, parks, etc., in the 
open market. He decides for himself the quality and quan- 
tity he desires. All is a matter of exchange in which efforts 
of one kind are exchanged for efforts of another kind. They 
state definitely that this natural payment always exists 
wherever these services are provided and they designate it 
as rent. But then, surprisingly, they contend that this 
process of exchange is not permitted to operate today, be- 
cause rent is paid to a private landowner instead of into the 
public treasury. This payment, therefore, they claim, is a 
one-sided transaction and not an exchange. But if this 
process of exchange by which a man pays rent for public 
services does not operate today, how then could they have 
been able to describe it? Has it ever existed? Apparently 
they do not believe so, for they do not tell us where we 
might find it. 

Now a payment that is not the result of an exchange but 
is a one-sided transaction is the same as a tax, i. e., it 
represents a seizure of one's private wealth. Thus the neo- 
Ricardians apparently believe that there are two kinds of 
rent one a compulsory payment which they say is actually 
made today, and the other a -voluntary payment which exists 

only in some Utopian realm created out of their own imagi- 
nations. How a single term can be applied to two entirely 
antithetical phenomena and still give one a clear picture of 
a certain phase of economic life they fail utterly to explain. 
Their assertion that rent is a voluntary payment but that 
it is non-existent today reads more like a normal precept of 
what rent ought to be rather than like a scientific description 
of what rent actually is. 

The question naturally arises : Why does rent constitute 
a compulsory payment when it is made to a landowner and 
a voluntary payment when it is made to government officials ? 
The neo-Ricardians answer it by saying that in the first case 
men are not free to refuse to pay rent because it is not 
possible for them to get off the earth. Now we know that 
men are land animals and that they cannot leave the earth 
unless they become disembodied spirits, but this fact has 
nothing to do with the economic question. Men do not pay 
rent for land as such, and no one knows this better than 
the neo-Ricardians themselves. To claim that the private 
collection of rent leaves men no alternative but to get off 
the earth (something which by their very nature they cannot 
do) is to assume that there is a scarcity of land in the 
aggregate, either natural or artificial. The neo-Ricardians 
vigorously and repeatedly denounce the Ricardians for mak- 
ing this matter a land question, but apparently not perceiv- 
ing the cause of this error, they have fallen into the same 
trap themselves. While we know that there is a scarcity 
of certain kinds of land, i. e., of particular locations, no 
evidence has ever been produced to show that a scarcity 
of land in the general sense exists. The neo-Ricardians 
assume that men have no alternative but to get off the earth 
because they make the mistake of viewing rent in the gen- 
eral sense rather than in the specific or relative, sense. 

Of course, civilized men cannot refuse to pay rent any 
more than they can refuse to pay for the food they eat or 
the clothes they wear, but they can and frequently do refuse 
to pay the rent that a particular landowner demands for a 
particular location by going to some other location. If we 
view economic life objectively without bias, we observe that 
landowners are constantly competing with one another for 
tenants. Even the owners of the poorest sites, if they 
possess good business judgment, are deterred from demand- 
ing too high a rent by the fear of losing their tenants or 
prospective tenants to the owners of better sites. Men are 
absolutely free to refuse to occupy a particular location, for 
no landowner threatens them with violence or coerces them 
in any way. The rent is not fixed by the will or caprice of 
the landowner but by the market. Therefore, we are left 
with no other conclusion but that rent is not a compulsory 
payment today but a voluntary one. The tenant pays his 
rent after he has entered into a free contract with the land- 
owner. To claim, as the neo-Ricardians do, that the market 
is not free is equivalent to saying that there is no market 



May June, 1941 

at all. Unless we believe that landowners are not consti- 
tuted like every one else, it is reasonable to assume that, 
as a class, they are just as anxious to receive an income as 
other people are, and they cannot receive an income unless 
their land is occupied. 

The curious lack of realism in the reasoning of the neo- 
Ricardians is even more in evidence in their attempt to 
show why rent would constitute a voluntary payment if it 
were made to government officials. Rent would be fixed 
by the market, they say, but apparently it would be a differ- 
ent kind of market than the one that now fixes the value 
of private services. The market that we know is one in 
which buyers and sellers bargain with one another in order 
to determine the prices of things and in which landowners 
and tenants bargain with one another in order to determine 
the rental value of sites ; but the market that they envision 
for the fixing of rent would consist only of buyers. The 
public services would be provided by the public through its 
so-called agent, the government, but the public officials 
would not bargain with the users of land. They would not 
make assessments, or "nominate" or "fix" the rent in any 
way. They would merely collect it. Just how the officials 
would know the exact amount of rent they should collect 
is not explained. We are told that there would be no 
auctions. This means then that there would be no bidders 
and no sellers and thus no bargaining. Rent would be 
determined, it is said, by "public opinion." How this 
"public opinion" is to be expressed, the neo-Ricardians fail 
to divulge. As a matter of fact, the public today has 
opinions about rental value, but these opinions are influenced 
by real estate interests who are in actual contact with the 
market. But opinions frequently are wrong. The fact that 
one site brings a certain rent does not guarantee that a 
similar site will rent for the same amount. In fact, it would 
not be rented at all if there was no demand for it. Witness 
the difficulties of conscientious public assessors who assess 
land today by comparing one site with another. A subse- 
quent sale or rental shows how wide of the true value their 
assessment was. 

The "public opinion" that the neo-Ricardians have in 
mind would be even more nebulous. The real estate inter- 
ests, in the situation that this school imagines, would be 
interested only in buildings and other improvements, not 
in land, and so would have no opinion to express that was 
based on actual contracts between landowners and tenants. 
Such opinion, to be effective, would have to be founded on 
facts of some kind. It would have to fix "rent" according 
to the site-users' ability to pay or according to the needs of 
the government. If the former, it is natural to assume that 
the site-users would tend to conceal such ability. But here 
the neo-Ricardians abandon economics (if indeed they have 
not already done so) and assume the role of psychologists. 

They say that in order to understand this question of "public 
opinion" it must be realized that "the psychology of the 
situation would have been completely reversed by the con- 
sciousness that rent is a debt due the public." The user of 
the site would gladly pay whatever "public opinion" decided 
because it would be the "patriotic thing" to do, like "saluting 
the flag." Whether or not they believe that the site-user 
would be expected to pay in rent all that he produces above 
a bare subsistence we do not know, for they do not commit 
themselves. If this was expected of the site-user, then we 
would have a situation akin to early Christian communism. 
It is fair to assume, however, that the neo-Ricardians do not 
favor anything like communism, Christian or otherwise; 
but that leaves "public opinion" in a dilemma. Exactly how 
much wealth would it permit the producer to keep for him- 
self? In order to find something definite on which to base 
its opinion, the public would be forced to ascertain the actual 
needs of government. That would mean appealing to the 
government officials who could safely be relied upon to fix 
the "rent" at "all the traffic will bear." But the man who 
has to pay the "rent" would not protest, for we are assured 
that once people understood what rent was, it would be 
looked upon as a "preferred debt." The reader can decide 
for himself whether or not this psychology is sound. The 
majority of the people today believe that taxes are paid for 
public services and that they are a "preferred debt," but yet 
they do all in their power to avoid paying them. Unless we 
are to ascertain some miraculous power to the word "rent," 
it is reasonable to assume that they would react in exactly 
the same way toward the payment of "rent" if it had to be 
made to public officials. Now as rent is a voluntary payment 
(and this is admitted by the neo-Ricardians), a payment 
made to public officials under compulsion would not be rent 
at all. It would be a tax. Land nationalization would be 
the result with all of the corruption and inefficiency which 
that would entail. Private industry would be even more 
at the mercy of the state than it is today, and the trend to- 
ward state socialism would be greatly accelerated. 

In spite of the efforts of the neo-Ricardians to avoid the 
fixing of the "rent" by public officials, they have, through 
their repudiation of the democratic process of the market, 
played right into the hands of the bureaucrats. I do not 
mean to say that this repudiation is deliberate, but I mean 
that like the Marxist they fail to understand the market or 
exchange system as it operates today. This is the real 
cause of their confusion. They might have avoided this 
confusion if they had applied to the rent question their 
favorite dictum that opinion has no place in economic 
science. I shall discuss the true nature of the market, when 
I consider the third theory of rent, in more detail than I 
have thus far done. 

(To be concluded in the next issue) 

May June., 1941 



Signs of Progress 


Robert Schalkenbach Foundation 


In May 1909, Winston Churchill, in the House of Com- 
mons, made one of the best speeches of his career on land 
value taxation. In Edinburgh, Scotland, the following July, 
he spoke again on the subject. Both speeches are contained 
in a pamphlet we have just published, the price of which 
is ten cents a copy. 

Another new pamphlet to be added to our list is "The 
Land for the People," a speech which Henry George made 
in Tommebridge, Ireland, in 1889. The price of this 
pamphlet is five cents. 

A third addition to our collection is "A Business Man's 
Religion," also five cents. This is a reprint of the letter 
which Joseph Eels wrote in reply to an appeal for funds 
made by the Dean of a Theological Seminary. It is a dra- 
matic presentation of the Georgeist principle of "justice, 
not charity." 

Through the generous cooperation of the author, we have 
a limited supply of two more Louis Wallis books which we 
are able to offer at greatly reduced prices. Both books are 
bound in cloth. One, selling at twenty-five cents a copy is, 
"State of War Permanent Unless. . ." Professor Ross of 
the University of Wisconsin said of this book, "It contains 
some startling facts which are hardly known in America." 
The other book, "Sociological Study of the Bible," is a 
scholarly work of more than three hundred pages. It goes 
back to the earliest days of civilization to show that the 
vital religious ideas of Christian society took shape in 
response to a social pressure as tremendous and compelling 
as that in which we live today. The price of this book 
is one dollar a copy. 

Last week we had an opportunity to purchase a few 
dozen copies of "Picking America's Pockets," by David L. 
Cohn. This book presents a lucid, penetrating and authori- 
tative argument which explodes many of the fallacies which 
have bedevilled American thought on the tariff question. 
However, its main interest to us is its wealth of factual 
information, most of which it is extremely difficult for the 
average reader to assemble for himself. The book is twenty- 
five cents a copy. 

The question is often asked, "What can I do to spread 
a knowledge of Henry George?" There are, of course, as 
many different ways as there are Georgeists and it is up to 
each one of us to choose the way which can best be utilized 
in our daily life. Mr. Matthew Van Leeuwen of Franklin, 
Mass., found that the many contacts he makes through 

business and in a social way provided a splendid field for 
the distribution of literature. ' Occasionally he gives a book 
away, but he is of the opinion that if he can sell the book 
it has a greater value to the one who buys it. The differ- 
ence between what he pays us for the books purchased in 
quantities of ten, and what he charges the individual pur- 
chasers, creates a small revolving fund for the constant 
replenishing of his stock. So far he has put about a hundred 
books into circulation and many hundred pamphlets. 

By a similar method and using the contacts she makes 
through her church work, Miss Adelaide Youngman of 
Dunellen, N. J., has put a hundred or more books into the 
hands of likely prospects. An interesting side-light on Miss 
Youngman's work is a letter she received from a woman 
minister in Shellong, India, to whom she wrote regarding 
"Progress and Poverty." This minister, who is in charge 
of several churches in India and has also organized a boys' 
school in that country, wrote as follows : "I was delighted 
to get your letter which reached me in the midst of my 
Punjab trip. I was interested in your remarks on Henry 
George's 'Progress and Poverty' a book for which I have 
long had a very keen appreciation. I believe he was one of 
the acutest observers and prophets that the Western world 
has produced. But, as with most of his fellow- prophets, 
being despised and rejected, the world has not yet begun 
to understand and listen to him." 

Too numerous to mention are the people fitting this kind 
of valuable work into the regular pattern of their daily 
lives. One good friend in Chicago has circulated five hun- 
dred books. Henry George's own daughter, Mrs. Anna 
George de Mille, hardly lets a week go by without putting 
a book in the hands of someone she has met who has proved 
responsive to her prefatory talk about her father's philoso- 

This work needs ingenuity and perseverance, but it is 
rich in its reward. Why not try it ? 

Henry George School of Social Science 


Commencement exercises took place at the Engineers' 
Auditorium on May 8. About 500 students graduated from 
the January session. The guest speaker was Rabbi Ira 
Eisenstein, who spoke inspiringly on "Education as a Means 
and as an End." Mrs. Anna George de Mille also addressed 
the group, and there were four student speakers. Leon 
Arpin, a member of the faculty, was Chairman. 

William Newcomb, co-author of "You and America's 
Future," believes in the visual method of propagating 



May June, 1941 

Georgeism, and is now engaged in various motion picture 
projects at the Henry George School. Several outstanding 
documentary films were presented in the School auditorium, 
including "The City," "The River," and "The Plough that 
Broke the Plains." At present Mr. Newcomb is conducting 
a class in Motion Picture Theory, which meets at the School 
every Thursday, and which includes lectures by outstanding 
specialists in this field. Mr. Newcomb and his class are 
engaged in producing a slide film for the School, and are 
also working on a short documentary motion picture. 

Classes at headquarters will continue through the sum- 
mer, including the course in "The Science of Political 


"Sumer is i-cumen in," and the various Extensions of the 
School are rounding out their Spring semester. 

The Chicago School, largest Extension outside of New 
York, held its annual banquet May 12. Hon. Francis 
Neilson was guest of honor. The occasion was a celebration 
of seven years of School work in the Windy City. Hon. 
Max M. Korshak, School's treasurer, reported that 639 
students had completed the basic course during the past 
year, bringing the total to 2160 since the first Chicago class 
in 1934. Sixty teachers, 300 secretaries, and 500 financial 
contributors have made this work possible. The budget of 
$5000 for the coming year was met in good part by spon- 
taneous contributions at the banquet, totalling $1339. 

Edwin Ross, Philadelphia Field Director, writes: "The 
first step in the organizational part of the work here is now 
complete. A Trust has been formed and duly recorded 
with the following persons named as Trustees : Julian P. 
Hickok, President; Samuel L. Green, Vice President; 
Burton N. Jones, Secretary and Treasurer; Lucia M. 
Cipolloni, Anna H. Ross, Henry George III, Francis Fee, 
Ernest Schneider, Harold Sudell, and Charles B. Scheer- 
baum. Our first objective will be a fund-raising campaign, 
to enable us to appeal to a very much greater number of 
prospective students for the Fall term, and to secure office 
space." Philadelphia's commencement exercises were held 
June 5, at the Central Y. M. C. A. About 125 graduates and 
friends attended. 

In St. Louis, Mo., five classes are nearing completion. 
This term will end the second year of the St. Louis School, 
during which time 300 students will have been exposed to 
the philosophy of Henry George. In addition to classes, 
Forum Meetings for graduates are conducted with a view 
to clarifying understanding of the economics studied in 
class. The St. Louis School work and fund-raising is 
carried on for the most part by graduates. 

In various parts of New Jersey, seventeen classes of the 
Spring session have been completed. Graduation exercises 
were held April 25. There were about 100 graduates. A 

teachers' training course will be conducted during the 
Summer to prepare teachers for the coming Fall term. New 
Jersey also has its own Speakers' Bureau, conducted by 
Mr. Donald Richardson. 

The Boston Extension is operating under the auspices of 
the newly formed Henry George Institute of New England. 
Enrollments of the Spring classes totalled 229. The Institute 
is now well under way and much progress has been made 
in the coordination of the many activities. A Speakers 
Bureau is active, under the management of Mrs. Grace 
Dahl, in securing many engagements for Georgeist lecturers. 
A monthly news bulletin is being published by the Institute, 
offering news of the work ; its current issue carries an 
"Honor Roll of Workers." The "muster roll" does not fall 
on deaf ears in Boston! 

Henry George Committee 
for Legislative Action 

Over a thousand copies of "A Legislative Framework for 
the Philosophy of Henry George" are now being distributed 
to legislators throughout the country U. S. Senators and 
Representatives, Governors of States and Territories, State 
Senators and Assemblymen, and Mayors of leading cities. A 
card is enclosed with the Framework, which reads : "Dear 
Legislator: There is an untapped source of revenue which, 
if taken, would go far towards meeting governmental needs 
in the present emergency. May we earnestly suggest that 
you give your attention to the enclosed framework of laws." 

The Framework has been introduced at a meeting of the 
Civil Service Forum of New York City, by Mr. Charles A. 
Kee. The Forum is an influential civic organization. If the 
Forum recommends the Framework, it will carry much 
weight with the legislators. 

Many testimonials on the Framework have been received, 
and proposals to make practical use of it are under way. 

William Allen White has written: "You have framed a 
most interesting legislative program for the single tax phil- 
osophy. I should say that it could not be improved upon. 
But I shoud also say that we should go one step at a time." 

William Jay Schieffelin wrote to Mr. Harry Maguire, of 
the Framework Committee, as follows: "The 'Legislative 
Framework' is well thought out. I am referring it to our 
Committee on Legislation. I do not think the legislature 
would adopt it, because the great argument in support of 
the Single Tax, namely, the 'unfair unearned increment', 
has vanished." 

Mr. Maguire has replied to Mr. Schieffelin as follows: 
"You may be correct in saying that there has been no un- 
earned increment in land for several years. There never is 
after a panic. There always is an unearned increment before 
a panic and it is the chief cause of it. New York City assess- 
es land at 7 billion dollars, which means that its owners re- 

May June, 1941 



ceive 350 million dollars after paying taxes to the city. The 
Henry George people want to take this 350 million dollars 
and remove all taxes from buildings. If this process were 
followed throughout the United States all men would have 
equal rights to land, and we believe that business depres- 
sions and unemployment would be no more." 

Some replies have been received to the invitation, in the 
last issue of LAND AND FREEDOM, to form local Committees 
in cooperation with the Central Committee, for the purpose 
of distributing copies of "A Legislative Framework for the 
Philosophy of Henry George" and securing its introduction 
in legislative sessions. A Committee has been formed in 
Hartford, Conn., under the direction of Mr. Nathan Hill- 
man, and other Committees are in the process of being 

The Central Committee again invites readers to cooper- 
ate in this work. Information, and free copies of the "Leg- 
islative Framework", may be obtained by writing to the Cen- 
tral Committee, care of LAND AND FREEDOM, 150 Nassau 
Street, New York, N. Y. 

Manhattan Single Tax Club 

The Club's campaign to get the Sanford Bill passed in 
the New Jersey Senate is progressing. This Bill would 
grant local option in removing taxes 'from improvements 
and increasing taxes on land values. Mrs. Olive C. Sanford, 
the Assemblywoman after whom the Bill is named, is herself 
active in propagating the principles for which the Bill 

"A test vote," writes Charles H. Ingersoll, President of 
the Club, "has proved our strength sufficient to carry the 
Assembly, and we are now working with the Senators. Mrs. 
Sanford and Harry Haase are working in close cooperation 
with Mr. Alfred Chandler, and are covering the 81 legis- 
lators individually." Mr. Ingersoll himself has devoted 
most of his time interviewing editors, and has succeeded 
in getting many fine stories in New Jersey papers, among 
them the Burlington Home News, the Lake-wood Citizen, 
and the Trenton Evening Times. This latter paper said 
editorially : "Advocates of the Sanford bill sincerely believe 
that they have something worth while. . . The least the 
Legislature can do is subject the proposal to careful 
analysis. There's just a chance that the single taxers may 
be right." 

The campaigners are optimistic, and believe the Bill will 
be passed. 

American Alliance to Advance Freedom 

A general Alliance meeting was held May 16th, at the 
City Club Building. The subject of this meeting was 
"After the War A Georgeist Peace?" Sidney J. Abelson 
delivered a talk on the subject and discussion from the 
floor followed. Lloyd Buchman was the discussion leader 

and Sara Wald chairman of the meeting; 

The growing number of Alliance members are carrying 
forward, on their own initiative, the work of the Alliance. 
Miss Rose Gutman and Miss Marian Seeley are organizing 
a membership committee; Mr. M. H. Flechner heads a 
typing committee which has assumed the task of typing 
the manuscripts flowing from the pens of writers and 
speakers cooperating with the Alliance ; and Miss Sara 
Wald, Mr. Louis Taylor and Mr. Adolphe Migdon consti- 
tute the nucleus of a speakers' bureau committee. 

William Auerbach-Levy, one of America's most distin- 
guished artists, and a member of the Alliance, has drawn 
and contributed to the organization a portrait of Henry 
George based on photographs loaned for the purpose by the 
Henry George School of Social Science. This drawing 
has been reproduced in monochromatic offset and copies are 
being sold at 50 cents each. 

Reproduced below is the "Functional Chart of the Alli- 
ance. This chart outlines graphically the plan of action 
and the ultimate objectives toward which this plan is 

Further information may be obtained by writing to Elbert 
E. Josefson, Secretary, American Alliance to Advance Free- 
dom, Suite 505, 22 West 48th Street, New York, N. Y. 




[Q For Gcncril Public 

For Church Groups. Club*, tc. 

| Mrin I Kullduif 1 [ Pcr I j Butmrfi 1 
| Trdg | [ Tradgi | | Groups | [ M>n,tc. | 

P.mphlrt. J.ftrikul.d 
*t lf turn; lokr mil. 
prtoM>ly, en rtre* tt,rtc 




(V/'a Henry George School of Social Science) 


For Prospective Leaders and Active Workers 

Lecturers I 

u/ ., Discussion \ Literature I 

Wr.rerA \, eaders \ \n isfrltu t on \ 
^^ \^ ^J^ 





E O RC 1 S 

M ] 



May June, 1941 

Women's Single Tax Club of Washington 

At the Club's last regular meeting for the season, on 
May 7, the annual report covering the year's activities was 
sent in by Mrs. H. M. McEvoy, the Club's President, who 
has been in New York negotiating the publication of her 
Concordance. Our reports are presented to the Federation 
of Women's Clubs with which our Club is affiliated, and 
are published in their year book. 

Miss Alice I. Siddall read a bill which she had prepared 
and submitted to the Ways and Means Committee that 
afternoon, providing, in brief, that "beginning July 1, 1941, 
there shall be assessed and collected one per cent of the 
value of all land and/or area situated in the United States, 
its Territories, Possessions, and the District of Columbia, 
exclusive of the value of improvements therein or thereon, 
and shall be collected each July 1 thereafter by each State, 
Territory, Possession, and the District of Columbia, from 
the holders of legal title to such land and/or area within 
their jurisdiction and transmitted immediately to the Treas- 
ury of the United States." 

The following officers were unanimously reelected for 
the ensuing year: Mrs. Helena M. McEvoy, president; Miss 
Alice I. Siddall, first vice-president; Mrs. Gertrude E. 
Mackenzie, second vice-president ; Mrs. Walter N. Camp- 
bell, recording secretary; Mrs. Jennie Knight, correspond- 
ing secretary and treasurer; and Mrs. Miriam C. Goodwin, 
director to the Federation of Women's Clubs. 

Henry George Foundation 

At the last annual Henry George Congress in Washington, 
it was unanimously decided to meet in Chicago in 1941, for 
the sixteenth annual Congress, accepting the cordial invita- 
tion extended by Clayton J. Ewing, Vice-President of the 
Henry George Foundation. President George E. Evans has 
appointed Mr. Ewing as Chairman of the Convention. 

The dates have been set for Monday, Tuesday and Wed- 
nesday, September 29th, 30th and October 1st, and the 
famous Hotel LaSalle has been selected as official conven- 
tion headquarters. 

Among prominent speakers tentatively scheduled to ad- 
dress the Chicago convention are : Hon. Herbert S. Bigelow, 
Mrs. Anna George de Mille, Benjamin W. Burger, Gilbert 
M. Tucker, Rabbi Michael Aaronsohn, Dr. Mark Millikin, 
Charles R. Eckert, Hon. Peter Witt, Frank Chodorov, Mrs., 
Helena Mitchell McEvoy, John Lawrence Monroe, Harold 
S. Buttenheim, and Col. Victor A. Rule 

The Convention Committee is planning to direct a trend 
of discussion particularly along the lines of such practical 
questions as how to win more adherents, and to discuss ways 
and means of devising practical programs for the applica- 
tion and extension of the Georgeist principles. 



"Tax Barriers to Trade." Tax Institute, Philadelphia. 1941. 344 pp. 

With the increasing emphasis on foreign affairs we are inclined to 
forget the many problems within our own borders. A better under- 
standing of these difficulties would reduce the effect of the various 
doctrinal assaults on democracy and aid in bringing about national 
prosperity and security. "Tax Barriers to Trade" presents a dis- 
cussion of an increasingly important problem the hindrance of trade 
between citizens of the various states. 

The Tax Institute selects each year a current tax topic for dis- 
cussion by various leaders who have seriously considered the sub- 
ject. "Tax Barriers to Trade" is a collection of addresses at this 
year's symposium. Twenty-nine students of this tax problem have 
contributed their views to combine in this book a well-balanced pre- 
sentation of the problem. The self-interests of various groups as 
well as the opinions of academic theorists are included. 

Trade barriers within the United States are a product of the 
depression. They attempt to protect local producers and distribu- 
tors from out-of-state competition and at the same time to raise 
additional revenue for the increasing demands on the treasury. In 
most cases one product or service is taxed or regulated in an effort 
to reduce its competitive effect to benefit another group, although' 
both groups may be managed by men of the same state. The various 
combinations of lobbyists are for this reason haunting the state 
capitals the railroad against the truckers, the dairy farmers against 
oleomargarine producers, and the independent retailers against the 
chain stores. These groups account for the major share of dis- 
criminatory taxes, and administrative laws have resulted in setting 
up these trade barriers, laws that have become a menace strangling 
the economic life of our nation. 

In "Tax Barriers to Trade" representatives of all of the above 
groups as well as others voice their opinions. L. W. Horning, Re- 
gional Director of Research of the Associations of American Rail- 
roads argues that truckers seek "to escape reasonable and legitimate 
costs which they should bear in order that they might compete more 
effectively with such an agency as the railroads." In his contribution 
to the book he defends every tax and regulatory law that hinders 
the truckers. Chester H. Gray of the National Highway Users Con- 
ference explains to us how each one of the points made by the rail- 
road men are not true when properly analyzed. 

Floyd D. Strong, of the Kansas Port-of-Entry Board, defends 
the port-of-entry system of his state, claims that it is a success and 
that it does not interfere with interstate trade. John V. Lawrence of 
the American Trucking Associations takes another view. "Size and 
Weight Restrictions on Trucks" is his grievance. 

All of the above men present their views under the section "High- 
way Trade Barriers." We must draw our own conclusions from the 
many opinions expressed. The only speaker who makes some at- 
tempt at impartiality is a representative of the Bureau of Agricul- 
tural Economics, Edgar A. Burtis. He represents a greater portion 
of the citizens but not all, since "The Farmer's Concern in Highway 
Trade Barriers" is his subject. No one appears in this symposium to 
speak for the ordinary taxpayer and consumer. 

There are six sections in this book. Four of them deal with speci- 
fic types of trade barriers, Highway Trade Barriers, Commodity 
Trade Barriers, Tax Barriers to International Trade and Marketing 
Trade Barriers. Each of these subjects is treated in much the same 
way as "Highway Trade Barriers," outlined above. The various self- 
interest groups voice their opinions while an effort at impartiality is 

May June, 1941 



made by some professor or government official. The first section, 
"The Menace of Tax Barriers to Trade", introduces us to the prob- 
lem. "What Can Be Done About Trade Barriers" ends the book with 
the work that is being performed by the many agencies attempting 
to put an end to trade barriers. 

The discussion on International Trade is the most disappointing. 
Nothing was said of Hull's reciprocal trade agreements and very 
little of tariffs two important discussion points with little or no men- 
tion. Elimination of the double taxation of corporation's income as 
the stimulus that would improve foreign trade is the only suggest- 
ed proposal that this section leaves with the reader. 

"Tax Barriers to Trade" can be recommended because of the 
proven soundness of the Tax Institute and because of the import- 
ance of the subject. While the problem conveyed in the title goes 
unanswered, no one can claim that he understands the various aspects 
of tax barriers to trade without having read this book. 



Two new books have arrived from Brazil both the work of our 
Brazilian correspondent, Prof. Fidelino de Figueiredo, who is now 
with the National Faculty of Philosophy at Rio de Janeiro. 

The first work, "Ultimas Aventuras" ("Latest Adventures," Em- 
presa A Noite, Rio de Janeiro), is a group of scholarly essays. Prof, 
de Figueiredo's aventtiras are a series of explorations in the field of 
literary and philosophical criticism. He covers such a range of sub- 
jects as knowledge and intuition, art and style, life and love, science 
and society. 

In his chapter on "The Limits of Personality," Prof, de Figueiredo 
discusses the prodigious advances of science the smashing of the 
atom, the concept of the fourth dimension, the transformation of 
mathematics and points out that with all the revolutionary implica- 
tions of these advances, we have not yet attempted to orientate the 
base of our social structure. Instead, we nave allowed monstrous 
deformities to grow up. We have not constructed our economic sys- 
tem upon the most fundamental of facts that man is a land animal. 
"The good effects of the increase of wealth," says de Figueiredo, "are 
nullified by its effects on the increase of poverty and on distributive 
justice so Henry George proclaimed already in 1879, in his im- 
mortal work, 'Progress and Poverty.' And the increase of poverty 
causes each time a greater intervention of the State in economic 
life, bringing an incessant reduction of individual liberty." 

The second book, "A Agonia do Cristianismo" ("The Agony of 
Christianity," Edicoes Cultura, Sao Paulo), is a translation into 
Portuguese by Prof, de Figueiredo, from the Spanish of Miguel de 
Unamuno. This famous work of Unamuno, having appeared in En- 
glish, Spanish and French, is now made available to Portuguese read- 
ers. In his preface, de Figueiredo pays tribute to the revered Sala- 
manca professor. 

In "The Agony of Christianity," Unamuno himself agonizes over 
the meaning of Christianity. In a brilliant, almost sparkling, man- 
ner he presents his case that Christianity is a purely individual and 
subjective phenomenon; he rejects Nietzsche's "social Christianity." 
But Unamuno is troubled. He foresees a world going to pieces, a 
civilization crumbling. (The book first appeared in 1925, in Paris.) 
However, he sees no salvation in Christianity, although he himself 
is a deeply religious man; instead he sees it doomed to go down 
with civilization. Can this be because he rejects social Christianity? 




Your bit of history in the January-February issue of LAND AND 
FREEDOM, entitled "Forty Years of the Struggle for Freedom," 
aroused my old sympathies for the men and women who devoted so 
much effort, with so seemingly little, though really large, result in 
reaching the minds of folk with the message of Henry George. 

I was one of them. They were and are my friends. We held con- 
ventions. We organized. We contributed funds for campaigns in 
the validity and tactics of which we had profound doubts. The good 
work was carried forward. Organizations came and went. Individ- 
uals carried on. May I suggest an analogy? 

A nation needs organization for defense from attack from with- 
out, from abuse of its people by their own government, and to 
enable its individuals to defend themselves from imposition by therr 
fellows ; but only on special occasions, such as war, does such organ- 
ization need to be concentratedly purposeful. The normal course of 
social life is a compound of the lives of its individuals. As long as 
the market is free unorganized, unregulated it affords the fullest 
opportunity for the production of wealth. 

So, it seems to me, in the advancement of ideas, the less we 
organize to regulate the effort, the more widely will knowledge 
spread. With all proper respect for those who put their faith in 
oganization, this is one lesson I draw from your splendid resume. 
Chicago, 111. HENRY L. T. TIDEMAN 

[Mr. Tideman, Director of the Chicago Henry George School, 
had copies of our Fortieth Anniversary Number sent to all the 
Chicago instuctors, with the following letter: "This issue of LAND 
AND FREEDOM has in it an article covering some of the interesting 
history of the Henry George movement, facts which should be part 
of the stock-in-trade of every teacher in the Henry George School. 
I urge you to read it all carefully. There is nowhere else in so small 
compass so much historical information to serve as a back-log for 
the fire that burns in those who wish to carry on our great work . . . 
You may, when you have perused this copy, find it worth while to 
invest. This magazine is always interesting and the best of its 
kind." ED.] 


My deepest compliments on your Quadragesimo Anno, as the 
Vatican would say. Your record is frank and complete, and well 

It is difficult at present to remit for my subscription. We spend 
fifteen million pounds a day on the war, but a few pennies for a 
journal is taboo though the wisdom of your paper is worth X 
million pounds to our Empire ! 
Bishops Stortford, England REV. MERVYN J. STEWART 


I believe that your readers will enjoy reading "Fame is the Spur," 
by Howard Springs (Viking Press), a novel dealing with the polit- 
ical developments in Great Britain during the past fifty years. 
There is considerable of the land question in the book, although the 
author doesn't refer to Henry George's visit, nor the influence of 
his "Progress and Poverty." The story of the rise of the futile Labor 
Party, and of its failure to deal understandingly with the funda- 
mental cause of unemployment and poverty is well told. 



May June, 1941 



I enjoyed "The Philosophy of Freedom' 1 very much. I feel that 
Gaston Haxo has notably accomplished his purpose in giving a very 
interesting and instructive condensation of Henry George's great 
work. I have found many people who find the unabridged "Progress 
and Poverty" too much of a chore to read through, and I believe that 
Mr. Haxo's book will reach them, and that many of them will become 
sufficiently interested to study George seriously. I found especially 
useful the many diagrams, and greatly appreciated the appendix. I 
trust that a second edition will soon be called for. 


"The Philosophy of Freedom" seems to me a very wise departure, 
especially for the college-educated young men and women. "Progress 
and Poverty" is very hard and concentrated reading, like the Bible, 
and your new book may be like the Revised Version of the Bible 
it may help younger people. This new book by Mr. Haxo should be 
very welcome to the leaders of our nation,, who are trying to explain 
to young people the philosophy of freedom. 
Southern Pines, N. C. FLORENCE GARVIN 


Some years ago I made a diagram (reproduced below) to illus- 
trate the distribution of wealth under present conditions and under 
the single-tax system. Louis F. Post said of my chart: "This is an 
excellent diagram simple and sound." 

Note that there are three kinds of rent in society today normal, 
speculative and monopoly. The normal rent line is marked "C" and 
the speculative rent line is "A" on the same diagram. The way to 
increase wages is to force monopoly and speculative rent back into 
the pockets of the workers whence it came in the first place. Henry 
George did not propose to collect all of present-day ground rent. 
What he proposed was to take all of the economic (or normal) rent, 
the object being to raise wages without resort to socialism or com- 

There's nothing like a picture or diagram to clear thought. 

The Distribution of Wealth 


Economic Rent or Rent Proper 



Speculative* V Rent 


The Distribution of Wealth 



R. E N T 

Economic Rent or Rent Proper 


Under present economic regime 

Under Single-Tax System 



Mr. Robert Schley's article in the last issue is written from a point 
of view which must complicate a subject that should be easily 
intelligible the problem of sufficiency of rent for government 
expenses. Mr. Schley's article is headed "Rent and the Tax Fund," 
but he bases his study, not on the collection of rent but on the taxing 
of land values. These two things are so different that one of them 
can wreck the best laid plans of Georgeists. 

If title holders are the rightful owners of land including the 
rents, government has no more justification in taxing land values 
than it has in taxing houses or incomes. All the basis of justice 
then disappears from our campaign, and it degenerates into a contest 
between the haves and the have-nots. 

If we tax land values 100% the land values disappear, we have 
neither tax base nor taxes, and government is bankrupt. This, of 
course, is an absurdity, and the prospective convert who hears this 
is through with Georgeism. If we tax land values 25% or 75%, the 
effects on the land values and on the tax base are so unpredictable 
that the intelligent fixing of a tax rate would be impossible. If the 
rent of the land belongs to the people, why not take the rent, instead 
of taxing the loot and going into partnership with the looters? If 
we base our study on the collection of the rent, the problem of 
financing the state will be as simple as the financing of an office 
building, because they are exactly the same problem. 

People who receive services, from a state or from a business man, 
should expect to pay the cost of the services. Every dollar expended 
by government legitimately is for service, and the only beneficiaries 
of these services are the title holders. Rent is the measure of these 
services, and a tenant cannot benefit by these services unless he 
lives somewhere and pays the title holder the full value of these 

A bridge which costs a million dollars, and which does not add 
a million dollars value to the locations which it serves, is a blunder 
whether it was erected by a state or by an association of title holders. 
If the state collected the rents of these locations, and if the bridge 
is worth its cost, citizens would be glad to pay the increased rentals 
necessary to finance the bridge. 

In the same way, the total rents, if collected by the state, would 
pay for all the expenses incurred by the state, the total of these 
expenditures being the cost of the total values which have been 
imparted to the lands by these expenditures. 

The public finances 'are now in a state of hopeless complication, 
but these complications are the result of the present system of 
taxation, and they would disappear if the state collected its income 
from its customers as any business man must do. A grocer who 
should give away his goods to the first comers, as the state gives 
away its rents, and then hold up the passers-by to collect for his 
expenses, would develop complications which no expert accountant 
could untangle. 

It is true that rent would be insufficient for all the present expenses 
of government. Title holders who would compete for valuable sites 
on the payment of the rent which covered the cost of the improve- 
ments, would be unwilling and unable to pay a rental which would 
cover the cost of boondoggling extravagant public works, and all 
the rest. 

Graft and incompetence in politics will never be eliminated while 
politicians have the privilege of taxing at their sweet will. If they 
were limited to accepting the rents which their wise spending had 
created, and could get their salaries in no other way, they would 
speedily learn the economy, the intelligence, and the honesty which 
they must employ in their private enterprises. 

May June, 1941 



If we will bear in mind that "the actual visible chaos of existing 
conditions" is the necessary result of the unjust and illogical system 
of finance which gives away its earnings and then picks the pockets 
of the citizens to replenish its coffers, we will more easily grasp the 
obvious truth that title holders are the sole recipients of the values 
created by government expenses, that the rent of land is the measure 
of these values, and that the collection of rent would automatically 
equal the cost of the services, that is, the government's budget. 
Jamaica, N. Y. JAMES SNYDER 

[We believe that Mr. Herbert T. Owens' article "Assessing Land 
on Gross Value," answers Mr. Snyder's objection to land value 
taxation. ED.] 


Permit me to offer a word of comment on Gaston Haxo's "Theory 
of Interest." 

Capital is a vital necessity of modern business. 

In large scale business, borrowed capital is the rule rather than 
the exception, as evidenced by the billions of security values listed 
in our Stock Exchanges, Insurance Companies, Building and Loan 
Associations, etc. 

By the promise of Interest, a million trickles of small savings 
accounts are now induced to come out of hiding and flow into one 
vast pool where, under experienced management, they accept the 
risks of industrial activity and assist in providing work for our 

Whether we call this promise "Interest" or "Insurance" or some 
other name is of no importance. But the principle, that when one 
individual entrusts his funds to another, he accepts a risk of loss, 
is of the greatest importance. And unless there is an adequate 
inducement to compensate for this risk, only a lunatic would con- 
sider the proposal. 

Any attempt to deny this compensation for risk, dams every one 
of these capital trickles at the source. The pool of capital funds 
available for the encouragement of industrial enterprise dries up. 
Every form of business dependent on borrowed capital would tend 
to degenerate to what each individual manager could provide from 
his own resources. Conditions of unemployment would be indescrib- 
Chula Vista, Calif. RAY H. TABER 

John Radcliffe 

The Cleveland Extension of the Henry George School has lost 
its faithful Secretary, and many of the workers in the cause of 
freedom have lost a rare friend. 

John Radcliffe, whose frail body harbored a fine intellect, died 
after a brief illness at the Glenville Hospital and was buried this 
May at Youngstown beside his mother and his father, who was 
Billy Radcliffe, S. T. 

Besides John's sure grasp of economic principles, his outstanding 
character was his gentleness and quiet, retiring disposition. When, 
back in January, 1938, John Monroe reorganized and greatly ex- 
panded the work of the Cleveland Extension, he prevailed upon 
John Radcliffe to guide its work and progress. To this undertaking 
John gave his all and gave it gladly. His unassuming leadership 
was an inspiration to his associates. 

Now he is no more. "But his influence lives on. On Thursday, May 
I5th, a small group of friends, composed of Philip Balaban, George 
F. Dort, George Downer, and H. K. Rice, met at the home of the 
writer informally to discuss ways and means to keep the torch of 
Libertarian Economics shining. John Radcliffe would have wanted 


CONSUMERS' COOPERATION, official national journal of the Con- 
sumers' Cooperative movement, gave us a "puff" in its April issue. 
Under the headline, "We Salute the 4Oth Anniversary Number of 
LAND AND FREEDOM," the following appeared : "While we are cele- 
brating the 25th Anniversary of the Cooperative League and the 
27th Anniversary of Consumers' Cooperation, we also pay tribute 
to our contemporary, LAND AND FREEDOM, upon its 4Oth Anniversary 
issue. Particular tribute is paid to the former editor, Joseph Dana 
Miller, a true prophet who could see so clearly into the future more 
than 20 years ago." Miller's prophetic words on the world scene, 
which so impressed Consumers' Cooperation, may be worth re- 
peating here: 

"Great God ! We are the torch-bearers of an economic world gos- 
pel ! We bring balm for the healing of the nations, a message for 
the oppressed, a new Magna Charta of emancipation for mankind. 
I! rejected, Leagues of Nations, covenants of peoples, are veritable 
'scraps of paper.' Again autocracy will challenge the political dem- 
ocracries that even now are shaken by internal revolutions. Again 
the Man on Horseback, a pinchbeck Hohenzollern or a real Napo- 
leon, will over-ride the world. Again on dying democracies, by power 
of cannon and shot and shell a modern Tamerlane will seek to 

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR carried nearly a full column bio- 
graphical sketch of Henry George on its Daily Features Page, May 
pth. The article, which included an attractive portrait of Henry 
George, gave a warmly sympathetic account of the author of "Prog- 
ress and Poverty." The lines open: "Henry George was a great 
American social philosopher. His name will always loom large in 
the annals of labor." The article closes with a word about "Progress 
and Poverty": "Today it is still an authority among social phil- 

WE, THE CITIZENS, Chicago Georgeist organization, has been cir- 
culating attractive folders calling the public's attention to "The 
Basis for a World Peace." Mr. C. R. Walker, Secretary of We, The 
Citizens, writes : "We are working on plans, building equipment and 
accumulating munitions that will make for the success of the 'blitz' 
we propose to inaugurate in the not too distant future. Be assured 
that We, The Citizens is a busy organization." If interested in the 
program of this organization write to We, The Citizens, 127 North 
Dearborn Street, Chicago, 111. 

J. B. CHAMBERLAIN, of Kensington, Md., believes that a more 
intensive effort should be made to interest people of Washington, 
D. C., in the philosophy of Henry George. He proposes to establish 
a lecture room where the philosophy might be taught; and he 
believes that the endless procession of visitors who would like to 
go some place toward the close of the day would be a fertile field to 
work upon. In addition, the many governmental employees from out 
of town should be interested in such lectures. 

THB students of Gaston Haxo's "Science of Political Economy" 
class at the Henry George School feted their master, on May 22, 
with an "over-consumption dinner," according to the clever menu 
drawn by Mrs. Sylvia Wiren, one of the students. The bill of fare 
included Cold Veal a la Adam Smith, Pommes de Terre Physiocrats, 
Spring Salad Ricardo, a Wealth Cake divided into Rent, Wages and 
Interest, and Coffee with Cream Henry George. 

J. RUPERT MASON sends us news of the death of John F. Conroy 
of Lowellville, Ohio. "He was a fine worker," writes Mr. Mason, 
"who circulated timely items about taxation, tariffs, etc., to a dozen 
or so widely separated friends, who would write to their local editors, 
and in turn write their friends to do the same a sort of chain let- 
ter idea." 



May June, 1941 


Pamphlets by Henry George 

Price, 5c Each 

The Land for the People 


The Causes of Business Depressions 
Thou Shalt Not Steal 

\\Tiy the Landowner Cannot Shift a Tax 
on Land Values 

Justice the Object; Taxation the Means 

The Crime of Poverty 

Thy Kingdom Come 

The Study of Political Economy 

* * * 

Other Books and Pamphlets 

By Winston Churchill 

A masterly statement on the land question by 
the hero of England 

Price, lOc 

By Joseph Pels 

"Justice, not Charity" 
Price, 5c 

By David L. Cohn 

An expose of the "protective" tariff 
Price, 25c 

By Louis Wallis 

"It contains some startling facts which are hardly 
known in America." PROF. E. A. Ross 

Price, 25c 

* * * 

Send orders to 


32 EAST 29th STREET 



A Streamlined Adaptation of "Progress and Poverty" 

A work that fills a need of long standing. Invaluable 
as a handy text-book, being a little over 200 pages in 
length, copiously illustrated with charts and diagrams. 
Adapted to teaching the philosophy of Henry George 
in a condensed but thorough manner. 

"The Philosophy of Freedom" is a perfect mine 
of interest and progress in the field of economics 
. . . Quite a contribution to the cause. 


I have found Gaston Haxo's book of very real value 
in teaching fundamental economics ... A brilliantly 
concise piece of work." A. C. MATTESON 

Price, Sl.OO Postpaid 

(Canada and Foreign Countries, $1.12 Postpaid) 

Send Orders to 





At last! The answer to the question, "How is Henry 
George's reform going to be put into effect?" Con- 
tains a model constitutional amendment for the State 
of New York, enabling legislation, and an explanation 
of the proposed law ; a constitutional amendment for 
the United States, and enabling legislation; and sug- 
gestions for local administrative bills. 

Copies will be sent free upon request 
Address the Central Committee, care of 

150 Nassau Street, New York, N. Y. 


Henry George's best very short statement of his doc- 
trines. Originally printed in a circular letter sent out 
by the Single Tax Enrollment Committee in 1888. 

Send Orders to 

P. O. BOX 105 


(We would like a copy of "Lost Island" and "Monopoly 
Gulch." Our copies are missing. Can you oblige? Thank 
you. C. LeB. G.) 

Vol. XLI, No. 4 WHOLE NO. 227 

July- August, 1941 

Land and Freedom 

An International Journal of the Henry George Movement 

'Unfinished Victory" and Mr. Nock 

A Critique of A False Liberalism 

M. J. Bernstein 

Kaiser Wilhelm II 

Reminiscences of the German Emperor 

Poultney Bigelow 

A Visit to Switzerland 

One of Europe's Last Free Countries 

Pavlos Giannelia 

In Defense of Ricardo 

A Comment on 

Mr. McNally's "Three Theories of Rent" 





July August, 194! 


An International Journal of the Henry George Movement 
(Founded in 1901 by Joseph Dana Miller) 

Published Bi-Monthly by 
LAND AND FREEDOM, 150 Nassau Street, New York 




Please address all communications and make all 
remittances payable to Land and Freedom. 

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: $2.00 per year. Libraries and Colleges, $1.00. 
Special trial offer to students and graduates of the Henry George 
School of Social Science, $1.00 for one year. Payable in advance. 

Entered as second-class matter Oct. 2, 1913. at the Post Office, 
New York, N. Y., under the act of March 3, 1897. 

July- August, 1941 

Vol. XLI, No. 4 

WHOLE No. 227 


GREAT BRITAIN: Douglas J. J. Owen. 

J. W. Graham Peace. 
CANADA : Herbert T. Owens. 
AUSTRALIA : A. G. Huie. 
NEW ZEALAND: Hon. P. J. O'Regan. 

T. E. McMillan. 

BRAZIL: Prof. Fidelino de Figueiredo. 
SPAIN : Baldomero Argente. 
FRANCE: Pavlos Giannelia. 





M. J. Bernstein 108 


KAISER WILHELM II Poultney Bigelow 112 

A VISIT TO SWITZERLAND Pavlos Giannelia 113 


Raymond V. McNally 116 


THE CRITICS CRITICIZED Jacob Schwartzman 122 


OUR BRITISH LETTER Douglas J. J. Owen 125 

OUR CANADIAN LETTER Herbert T. Owens 126 






IV e declare : 

That the earth is the birthright of all Mankind 
and that all have an equal and unalienable right 
to its use. 

That man's need for the land is expressed by 
the Rent of Land ; that this Rent results from the 
presence and activities of the people ; that it arises 
as the result of Natural Law, and that it there- 
fore should be taken to defray public expenses. 

That as a result of permitting land owners to 
take for private purposes the Rent of Land it 
becomes necessary to impose the burdens of tax- 
ation on the products of labor and industry, which 
are the rightful property of individuals, and to 
which the government has no moral right. 

That the diversion of the Rent of Land into 
private pockets and away from public use is a 
violation of Natural Law, and that the evils aris- 
ing out of our unjust economic system are the 
penalties that follow such violation, as effect fol- 
lows cause. 

We therefore demand : 

That the full Rent of Land be collected by the 
government in place of all direct and indirect 
taxes, and that buildings, machinery, implements 
and improvements on land, all industry, commerce, 
thrift and enterprise, all wages, salaries and in- 
comes, and every product of labor and intellect be 
entirely exempt from taxation. 

That there be no restrictions of any kind imposed 
upon the exchange of goods within or among 


Taking the full Rent of Land for public purposes 
would insure the fullest and best use of all land. 
Putting land to its fullest and best use would create 
an unlimited demand for labor. Thus the job would 
seek the man, not the man the job, and labor would 
receive its full share of the product. 

The freeing from taxation of every product of 
labor, including commerce and exchange, would 
encourage men to build and to produce. It would 
put an end to legalized robbery by the government. 

The public collection of the Rent of Land, by 
putting and keeping all land forever in use to the 
full extent of the people's needs, would insure real 
and permanent prosperity for all. 

"Is it too soon to hope that it may be the mission of this Republic to unite all nations of English speech, whether they 
grow beneath the Northern Star or Southern Cross, in a league which, b\< insuring justice, promoting peace, and libera- 
ting commerce, will be the forerunner of a world-wide federation that will make war the possibility of a past age, and turn 
to works of usefulness the enormous forces now dedicated to destruction." HENRY GEORGE. 

Land and Freedom 

Vol. XLI 


No. 4 

Comment and Reflection 

T17HEN in times like the present times in which princi- 
pies are so easily sacrificed to the exigencies of the 
moment a world leader, whose words influence millions of 
people, speaks out for first principles and natural rights, 
it is indeed cause for rejoicing. Such a declaration has come 
from Pope Pius XII, in a talk which was broadcast through- 
out the world on June 1. Whereas from all sides we are be- 
sieged with the doctrine of subservience to the state, from 
His Holiness comes a clarion call against this ideology. It is 
time, he suggests, for the state to sacrifice for the individual 
and the family, and to take thought of the simple truth 
one so easy to forget that man was not meant to be the 
slave of society, but society was meant to give more scope 
to his individual life. Shall we allow any emergency to 
obscure this relationship? 

TT was on the fiftieth anniversary of Rernm Novarum 
L the famous encyclical of Pope Leo XIII that Pius XII 
delivered his address. While the latter commended that en- 
cyclical to his hearers as "the Magna Carta of Christian 
social endeavor," we are happy to note an advance in certain 
respects in the ideas of the contemporary Pontiff over those 
of the author of Rerum Novarum. True, the same faith 
in the dignity of man underlies the utterances of both. But 
on the part of Pius XII there appears to be more awareness 
of what is required for the achievement of man's dignity. 
While Leo upheld private ownership of land, Pius empha- 
sizes the need of allowing all mankind access to nature's 
resources. "Goods," says His Holiness, "which were created 
by God for all men should flow equally to all according to 
the principles of justice and charity." And he speaks of the 
earth's surface as "that surface which God created and pre- 
pared for the use of all." 

TTNQUESTIONABLY, Leo XIII acknowledged the 
^ broad principle of man's right to the use of the earth. 
However, in defending private property in land he not 
only did not make clear how equal rights to land could be 
maintained in a world of landed and landless men, but he 
pronounced a formula which militated against his own lofty 
purposes. Leo said, "The earth, though divided among private 
owners, ceases not thereby to minister to the needs of all ... 

Those who do not possess the soil contribute their labor." 
This indeed purports to be our present system ; and it does 
not require extraordinary vision to see that those who "pos- 
sess the soil" do not share God's gifts equally with those 
who "contribute their labor." But Pius XII shows deeper 
appreciation of the fundamentals of our present world dis- 
order, and he urges a more equitable distribution of wealth, 
fuller opportunities for every individual, and a more equal 
diffusion of population over the earth's surface. 

T>ESIDES his declaration of the right of all to the use 
-*-* of the earth, Pope Pius in other ways comes close to 
our thought ; for he says : "Undoubtedly, the natural order 
deriving from God demands also private and free reciprocal 
commerce of goods by interchange and gift as well as the 
functioning of the state as control over both these institu- 
tions." The Georgeist ideal has been happily summed up in 
the trinity of "free land, free trade, free men." We find our- 
selves again on common ground with His Holiness when he 
avers that the attainment of material abundance for all is 
a means to an end ; that in society "such abundance repre- 
sents and offers a really effective material basis sufficient 
for proper personal development of its members," including 
the mental, moral and spiritual aspects. The higher virtues 
are not to be alienated from any economic consideration of 
humanity. In that regard Henry George was perhaps unique 
among the economists. He deferred to the many-sidedness 
of man, and he considered his proposals as a means to the 
same end "If, while there is yet time, we turn to Justice 
and obey her ... the forces that now menace will turn to 
agencies of elevation . . . and who shall measure the heights 
to which our civilization may soar?" 

TT is true that Pope Pius XII does not offer specific pro- 
* posals to carry out the ideals he enunciates. But, all 
things considered, it would be ungracious to complain on 
that account alone. Let Georgeists be willing to assume the 
task of showing how those ideals can be realized. It sufficeth 
for us that a leader of thought has helped "make straight 
the ways." We are only grateful that this Servant of the 
Servants of God has so forcefully invoked and evoked 
those principles which but tremble on the lips of other lead- 
ers advocates of "expediency," and false "realism." Our 
task is made the easier for it. 



July August, 

'Unfinished Victory" and Mr. Nock 


A PROFOUND contempt for the mass of mankind un- 
-^*- derlies the philosophy of totalitarianism, whether 
fascist or communist. But more difficult to discern is the 
same contempt masquerading under a cloak of liberalism, 
of which Albert Jay Nock's doctrine of the "educable elite" 
is an interesting example. And in times of crisis such as 
the world is now experiencing, it is not surprising indeed, 
it is inevitable that the basic sympathy which ultimately 
unites these haters of their fellow-men, should prove far 
stronger than the superficial differences which divide them. 

In the April, 1941 issue of Scribner's Commentator. Mr. 
Nock discusses "Unfinished Victory" by Arthur Bryant, 
published in England in 1940, (though written before the 
outbreak of the war), and waxes indignant at the failure of 
any American firm to publish the book in this country. Mr. 
Nock suspects a conspiracy, a Jewish conspiracy in fact, to 
prevent the American public from reading what he consid- 
ers a most important book, an "able, cogent and gentle- 
spirited book," as he calls it. Mr. Nock dislikes Britain, he 
has a scarcely-concealed sympathy for present-day Ger- 
many, and his admiration for "Unfinished Victory" supports 
the view that he subscribes to Mr. Bryant's thinly-veiled anti- 
Semitism. (See Atlantic Monthly, July 1941, for further 

Arthur Bryant is a die-hard, reactionary Tory, biographer 
and admirer of Stanley Baldwin, opponent of free trade and 
of economic liberalism, sympathizer with Hitler's racial 
dogmas and doctrine of "Blood and Soil." A few quota- 
tions from "Unfinished Victory" will illustrate: 

"Adolf Hitler, unknown to all but a few, was still in the 
early stages of his struggle, yet it may be said that Germany 
was already seeking him." 

"Hitler was acute enough to realize that the Marxist did 
not stand for freedom but for a despotic uniformity, en- 
forced by terror and the annihilation of all who opposed 
them." [Hitler, in Mr. Bryant's opinion, obviously stands 
for freedom and individualism.] 

"Hitler's real quarrel with the capitalist and Marxist 
system alike was that they stopped things from growing. 
They were concerned not with creation, but the one with 
making quick profits [Emphasis mine M. J. B.] and the 
other with establishing an unnatural and sterile uniformity." 
[Note the mystic nationalist's hatred for the merchant, the 

"This damning indictment of modern society and 'its 
original sin of racial corruption' constitutes the central 
theme of Hitler's political philosophy. It has never been 
properly answered." 

"The dreamer of Munich | Hitler | outlined a now organ- 
ization of society to undo a century's neglect." 

"They destroyed because they were shocked . . ." | Refer- 
ring to the righteous moral indignation of Hitler's storm 

"To the dispossessed millions it | Naziism | offered some- 
thing even more attractive status and responsibility." 

And Bryant approvingly quotes a German as writing: 

"A conquered and oppressed people has no place for an 
internationally-minded and internationally-organized com- 
merce . . ." 

Xow let us select a few choice anti-Semitic morsels from 
Mr. Bryant's heavily-laden tray. 

"Few of the lews who set the spiritual and cultural 
fashions for Germany in the 'twenties had any comprehen- 
sion of a countryman's point of view. They were not them- 
selves countrymen or producers, but ; >y long U'ont inif/ranfs 
and middle men [Emphasis mine M. J. P>.| : the descend- 
ants of men who had been forced to live for centuries as 
exploiters [though never landowners like Prussian Junkers 
or British Tories M. J. B.] rather than as creators . . . 
Their inherited instinct was to skim the crenm rather than 
to waste vain time and effort in making enduring things . . . 
They were exponents of the get-rich-quick philosophy . . . 
lovers of the flamboyant and the arts of advertisement . . ." 

". . . Who [the Jews) in the nineteen-twenties seemed, 
with all the invincible vitality and opportunism of their 
race, to be making of a broken nation their washpot." 

"The lack of common purpose, the treachery of the Jeiv 
[Emphasis mine M. J. B.] and the stranger within her 
too-open gates, above all, the lack of consistent purpose in 
her leadership, had consigned Germany to the lowest hell 
of even her unhappy history." 

"And the dispossessed the lonely and dispirited men and 
women who had seen their homes, their savings and their 
livelihood sacrificed to the Jewish speculator when the cur- 
rency collapsed turned also to the new creed." 

"To the peasant he [Hitler] promised the freedom of his 
land, now mortgaged to the Jewish usurer . . ." 

"If one had the money, one could stay at luxurious hotels 
and sit among well-dressed people rich Jews from Galicia 
or native profiteers eating and drinking fabulously expen- 
sive food and wine." [This refers to the blockade-caused 
famine right after the War.] 

"Authorship in Germany almost seemed to have become a 
kind of Hebrew monopoly." 

"The perversion [homosexuality M. J. B.) which has 
always been a major German failing was now exploited 

July Any list, 1941 


and stimulated by Jewish caterers who, while seldom shar- 
ing such tastes, did not hesitate to turn them to their profit." 

These few examples are at least indicative of the nature 
of Mr. Bryant's prejudices. However, even a tempera- 
mental bias may occasionally be justified by an appeal to 
facts, to history, or to authority. "Unfinished Victory" is 
a jumble of distortions, inaccuracies, misquotations and 
downright lies. Let us examine some of the statements in 
Mr. Bryant's book, first those in which he quotes or refers, 
as his authority, to Edgar Ansel Mowrer's "Germany Puts 
the Clock Back" : 

"just after the revolution, three little Jewish clothing 
dealers came to Berlin from Poland . . . They had a gift of 
pleasing. They received contracts for municipal uniforms 
and linens ... In return they provided nearly the entire city 
administration with free clothes . . . From time to time they 
arranged Roman banquets with tubs of caviar and barrels 
of champagne . . . After a trial that lasted three years the 
Sklareks were given hard labor." 

But Mr. Bryant doesn't finish this quotation from Mow- 
rer. Here is what he omits, falsifying as he does always 
where the Jews are concerned : 

"The Sklareks, etc., all were Jews and served splendidly 
for anti-Semitic propaganda. But Dumke was incurably 
Aryan. Conspicuously Aryan were the Lahusen brothers, 
church-going deacons who built up a wool trust by ingen- 
ious financial jugglery. Even worse was the case of the 
Devaheim, a combined bank and a home-purchasing Co- 
operative under the control of the Protestant Home Mis- 
sions. The managers were nearly all Lutheran pastors. All 
in all, a pretty piece of embezzlement of poor people's money 
by holy and wholly Aryan crooks. Corruption under the 
German Republic was, sad to say, not limited to Jews and 

Let us turn once more to Arthur Bryant: 

"The same vivid writer [Mowrer] and others have de- 
scribed for us those innumerable meetings that were taking 
place throughout the length and breadth of a tortured land 
under National Socialism . . . The speaker [Hitler] never 
halts for applause. The audience remains intent, silent, ab- 
sorbed as it follows every word of his scorn, his indigna- 
tion, his invincible faith." 

But let us read what Mowrer himself actually has to 
say about it : 

"If he [Hitler] stops, they howl for more. He states the 
most astonishing and totally inaccurate things. He roars, 
he pleads ; if need be, he can weep. But he never analyzes, 
discusses or argues. He affirms, attacks, comforts. Accord- 
ing to his axiom of aiming at the lowest in his audience, he 
keeps to the vaguest generalities and formulae, repeating 
them with infinite verve. 

"So it went on, night after night, for years. Within the 
thousands were perhaps a handful who did not rise to the 

occasion. They looked for persuasion and received only 
theatricals of a pretty cheap type. They wanted argument 
and were given rhetoric and preposterous misstatement. 

"He [Hitler] collected and disseminated social and po- 
litical resentments, fostered special hatreds, encouraged the 
violent suppression of adversaries, appealing one after the 
other to each of the more brutal human instincts. 

"Germans seem obsessed by a desire to obey. And Hitler 
so thoroughly fostered this feeling that you could hear Na- 
tional-Socialist studems at Berlin University shouting in 
chorus: 'We spit on Freedom!' ('II "\r scheissen auf die 


* i 

Mr. Bryant refers to Matthias Erzberger as "the Social 
Democrat politician." As a matter of fact, Erzberger was 
not a Social Democrat, but a Catholic Centrist who was 
forced to sign the armistice ending World War 1 because 
the Junker generals who demanded the armistice refused 
to accept the onus of signing it. Erzberger, the Catholic (not 
the Social Democrat), was murdered by fanatical national- 
ists as a betrayer of Germany but Hindenburg was elected 
President and manifested his gratitude by calling Hitler to 
trie chancellorship. Mr. Bryant has no word of criticism for 
the Junkers who made the war, refused all possible attempts 
at a peace during its course, forced the Republican govern- 
ment to sign the armistice, bled the Republican government 
to the tune of hundreds of millions of marks, and then 
aided Hitler to gain control of the German state. 

"Unfinished Victory" depicts Republican Germany and 
the origins and success of National Socialism completely 
in the manner in which it is now being presented in the 
Third Reich. According to this view, Hitler and his move- 
ment represented the inevitable and justifiable reaction of 
the overwhelming majority of the German people against 
the ignominy, the humiliations and the material and spiri- 
tual sufferings engendered by the imposition of the diktat of 
Versailles. They stood for the reunion of Germany with all 
the German- speaking sections of Central Europe. In other 
words, the Nazi party, and especially the Fuehrer, are shown 
to us here as the concrete political manifestation of a Ger- 
many resurgent, a Germany reaching out to take its rightful 
place among the family of nations, as the most important 
power on the European continent. 

This is the National Socialist fable, whole-heartedly ac- 
cepted by Arthur Bryant, and incidentally by Albert Jay 
Nock. What are the actual facts in the matter, facts either 
utterly ignored or crudely misrepresented in "Unfinished 
Victory" ? 

The German Army was not stabbed in the back by the 
treachery of the Jews, the republicans and the radicals at 
home. The last offensive had failed to reach its objective and 
American troops and equipment were steadily strengthening 
the Allied forces. The German High Command (Ludendorf 
and Hindenburg) demanded that the newly installed re- 



July August, 1941 

publican government (the Kaiser had fled to Holland, his 
landed estates inviolate, as they still are) request an armis- 
tice, refusing to accept responsibility for the inevitable mili- 
tary catastrophe that would otherwise result. In other words, 
the German Army was a defeated army, incapable of further 
resistance to the growing power of the Allied arms. And 
forever after, despite its undoubted achievements, the re- 
publican government was unjustly associated with the de- 
feat and the peace treaty. 

Nationalist sentiment was not slow to profit. Those ele- 
ments which later became the backbone of Nazi barbarism, 
directed all their efforts to the destruction of the Republic. 
Political assassination was usual, and sad to relate, treated 
leniently. Mr. Bryant has much to say about Communist 
violence against the Hitlerites, but not a word about the 
Nazi counter-violence, and the brutal assaults of both ex- 
tremist wings against the democrats and moderates. 

But despite the attacks upon it, in frequent cooperation, of 
both extreme Left and Right, the Republic managed to 
achieve the de facto termination of the most repressive pro- 
visions of the Versailles treaty. All foreign troops were 
withdrawn from German soil years before the date pro- 
vided in the Treaty. This was accomplished by Streseman. 
Reparations were in effect cancelled during the period in 
which Bruening held office, and while Hjalmar Schacht still 
professed a belief in the democratic form of government. 
When Hitler finally took power at the beginning of 1933, 
the Versailles Treaty's terms had been virtually cancelled, 
including the disarmament clauses. And Hitler was inter- 
ested in this not to realize the just aims of the German 
nation, but for the purposes of imperialist conquest, indeed 
for world conquest. Recent and current events sufficiently 
demonstrate that. 

It is true that Austria wished union with Germany but 
with the Germany of the Weimar Republic (a step, inci- 
dentally, of which Great Britain approved). Hitler delivered 
his ultimatum to Austria on March 6, 1938; Schuschnigg, 
the Austrian Chancellor, had planned to hold a plebiscite to 
determine the wishes of the Austrian population with re- 
spect to joining the Third Reich. But Hitler's ultimatum 
forbade the plebiscite, and despite its cancellation, the Ger- 
man army nevertheless invaded and absorbed Austria. Does 
this indicate that the Nazis had any confidence in the desire 
of their Austrian neighbors to become one with them? 

But, it is said, the German people, at any rate, overwhelm- 
ingly welcomed "the new order." No cruder lie has ever 
been circulated. Hitler was a minority chancellor, and at no 
time in its blood-stained career prior to the acquisition of 
political power, did the Nazi party ever represent a majority 
of the electorate. The largest vote it ever polled, roughly, 13,- 
000,000, in the July, 1932 election, represented 37% of the 
total number cast. But a few months later, in November, 
1932, in the last free election held in Germany, the Nazi vote 

dropped to approximately 11,000,000, a decline of 2,000,- 
000 votes, and the party lost over 30 seats in the Reichstag. 
The movement had passed its peak and was visibly on the 
wane. But Hindenburg, under the influence of the Junker 
clique surrounding him (known as the Herrenkhib), fearing 
an investigation into the land frauds in which the East Prus- 
sian Junkers were deeply involved, hastily called Hitler, the 
leader of a minority party, to power, in order to prevent a 
threatened Reichstag investigation into this filthy business. 
(This is a story which should be of particular interest to 
Georgeists, but which must await another opportunity for 
the telling.) 

But what need to go on ? Enough has been said to indicate 
that "Unfinished Victory" is a completely inaccurate and 
distorted history of the forces and events leading to the 
conditions which have prevailed in Hitlerian Germany since 
1933. Mr. Bryant has attempted to whitewash the horrors 
and atrocities of the Nazi regime, to find justification for 
its existence, and to lend the weight of his opinion (for 
whatever it may be worth) to the myth of a nation betrayed 
not by its own sins and shortcomings but by the treachery of 
its enemies within (the Jews and republicans), and the in- 
justice and cruelty of the world without. That the Jews 
represented less than 1% of the German population, that 
12,000 of them (a larger percentage than the non-Jewish 
total) were killed in the first World War, that Ludendorf 
invited the Polish Jews into Germany, are all facts which 
"Unfinished Victory" chooses to ignore. 

"Anti-Semitism is a temptation to look for evil, not in 
oneself but in some other exterior quarter. It is flight from 
an intellectual and moral demand upon oneself, refuge 
sought in a material claim upon another, whom one can 
make responsible for one's own weakness and unhappiness. 
Further, anti-Semitism expresses the inclination of the pres- 
ent age to substitute general exterior activity for spiritual 
self-transformation. The evil that we will not recognize in 
our own natures we combat in the shape of a plausible per- 
sonification. We do it when we are no longer strong enough 
as human beings to struggle with it directly." 

These are the profoundly penetrating observations, not 
of one who has always hated Hitlerism, not of a Jew seeking 
to defend himself and his race, but of the former President 
of the Danzig Senate and close collaborator of the Nazi 
regime, Hermann Rauschning, writing in his most recent 
book, "The Redemption of Democracy." And they consti- 
tute a sufficient answer to the Hitlers, the Bryants, and the 

However, the purpose of this article was neither a dis- 
cussion, as such, of Hitler's Germany nor of Bryant's book. 
It was rather an examination of the present position of that 
supposed Georgeist and Jeffersonian democrat, Albert Jay 
Nock, as manifested in his most recent lucubrations. 

In his article on "Unfinished Victory" in Scribner's Coin- 

July August, 1941 



mentator Mr. Nock makes the following assertions: 

"No statement that he | Bryant) makes from beginning to 
end, can be questioned." 

"Mr. Bryant's statements are 'all true and are all put with 
the most careful discrimination." 

In view of our own careful examination of "Unfinished 
Victory," it is obvious that Mr. Nock is either deliberately 
attempting to distort and mislead, or else has assumed the 
role of irresponsible scribbler. He is completely unconcerned 
with or unaware of the need for arming himself with some 
authoritative corroboration for the point-of-view he so un- 
qualifiedly endorses. The history of the German Republic, 
and of the rise of National Socialism have been exhaus- 
tively documented, developed and discussed. There is liter- 
ally no end of accurate and trustworthy sources of informa- 
tion in this field. But Mr. Nock chooses to stand sponsor 
for a book that might almost have originated from Goebbel's 
German Ministry of Propaganda. So we shall gently draw 
the veil by charitably supposing that Mr. Nock's present 
attitude is due to ignorance, and in order to help him (and 
others who share his prejudices) to avoid similar mistakes 
in any future treatment of the subject, we are appending 
the following bibliography : 
i la Revolution of Nihilism Hermann Rauschning. 
The Voice of Destruction Hermann Rauschning. 
The Rise of the German Republic H. G. Daniels. 
The Fall of the German Republic R. T. Clark. 
The History of National Socialism Konrad Heiden. 
Hitler Konrad Heiden. 

The Fascist: His State and His Mind E. B. Ashtun. 
Inside Germany Albert Greszinsky. 
Men Against Hitler Fritz Max Cahen. 
The Nasi Dictatorship Fredericli Schuman. 
Fascism for Whom? Max Ascoli. 
Germany Enters the Third Reich Culvin Hoover. 
Nazi Germany Means U'ar Leland Stowe. 
The New German Empire Franz Borkenau. 
The End of Economic Man Peter F. Drucker. 
The German Republic H. Quigley and R. T. Clark. 
The Third Reich Henri Lichtenberger. 
The Burning of the Reichstag Douglas Reed. 
Militarism Karl Liebknecht. 
The Recovery of Germany James Angell. 
Fascism and National Socialism Michael T. Florinsky. 
War Against the West Aurel Kolnai. 
Peace With the Dictators? Norman Angell. 
My Austria^ Kurt Schuschnigg. 
The Vampire Economy Guenter Reimann. 
Battle Against Time Heinrich Hauser. 
German Economy, 1870-1940 Gustav Stolper. 
The Strategy of Terror Edmond Taylor. 
France Speaking Robert de St. Jean. 
Unto Caesar F. A. Voigt. 
Out of the Night Jan Valtin. 

(Mr. Nock thinks that Valtin's book is simply war-mongering 
anti-German propaganda, and almost .purely fictional. He is re- 
ferred to a review of the same by the Rev. H. A. Reinhold in 
The Commonweal for March 28, 1941.) 

In addition to the above, the following are Nazi sources, 
or sympathetic to National Socialism. They tell their own 
damning story : 
Alein Kampf Adolf Hitler. 
Germany Reborn Hermann Goering. 
My Part in Germany's Fight Joseph Goebbels. 

Hitler's Official Programme and its Fundamental Ideas Gott- 
fried Feder. 

Man and Technics Oswald Spengler. 
The Hour of Decision Oswald Spengler. 
The End of /fc^orotiotif Hjalmar Schacht. 
A New Social Philosophy Werner Sombart. 
Germany Prepares for U'ar Ewald Banse. 

John Dewey on Henry George 

Dr. John Dewey, America's foremost philosopher, has written a 
Foreword to the new "Guide for Teaching the Principles of Political 
Economy," published by the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation (See 
the Foundation's report elsewhere in this issue). The Guide is a 
.-.indent's manual based upon Henry George's "Progress and 
Poverty," and in his Foreword Dr. Dewey has the following to say: 
PROGRESS AND POVERTY is one of the world's 
-classics. While it falls technically in the field of eco- 
nomics, it is one of the comparatively few books in that 
field that link economics with politics, sociology, and ethics, 
and, in consequence, it is required study for the student of 
government, social affairs and morals, as well as economics. 

Domestic conditions have for a long time forced attention 
to the need of free access by the inhabitants of a country tq 
land, in which are included the natural resources of mines, 
forest and water-power as well as farms and building-sites. 
Present international conditions, the world war included, 
point with intense emphasis to the fact that the problem is 
of equal importance in all questions and issues arising in 
the intercourse of the nations of the earth with one another. 
That person lives in a dream-world who believes war can 
be permanently averted and helpful cooperative relations 
of the peoples of the earth established until the question is 
faced of free access of populations to the resources nature 
has provided for the common use of mankind. 

Because of my conviction that no person is properly edu- 
cated today without acquaintance with the problem and 
with the solution advanced by Henry George, I am happy 
to write this Foreword. Whether study of the book leads 
or does not lead a student to acceptance of the views put 
forth by George, it will immensely widen and broaden his 
understanding of the world in which he lives and equip him 
to deal with the menacing problems it presents. 

The Guide which is here offered bears on its face the 
proof that it is a careful and competent aid to any student 
who is given the great opportunity of becoming acquainted 
with a book which will enable him to see domestic and inter- 
national problems in a vitally important perspective which 
might otherwise escape his vision. 



July August, 194! 

Kaiser Wilhelm II 


[The recent death of Wilhelm Hohenzullern, third ruler of the 
lesiored (Jerman Kmpire up to the close of the First World 
War, calls to mind that our good friend, Poultney Bigelow, was a 
boyhood chum and schoolmate of the late ex-Kaiser. Mr. Bigelow 
\vrote about the Hohenzollern emperor and his social views in an 
article for the March-April 1912 issue of LAND AND FREEDOM (then 
known as THE SINGLE TAX REVIEW), which was a Special Number 
for Germany. However we may disagree with Mr. Bigelow's 
interpretation, we believe it is interesting enough to present to our 
readers at this time. ED.] 

HHHE German Emperor has successfully deceived the 
*- world regarding his true character. On the surface he 
appears a medieval knight with cuirass, helmet and threat- 
ening sabre in his "mailed fist." He publicly repudiates al- 
legiance to any law save that of God Almighty. The press 
knows him as a war-lord, impatient at any constitutional 
limitation and muttering to his ministers, "Sic volo, sic 
jubeo." His last sensational appearance in our press is one 
whose background setting would be a Court of Impeach- 
ment or guillotine, had we in mind England or France. Ger- 
many has elected to her Imperial Parliament a very large 
proportion of Socialists who but a few years ago were re- 
garded as outcasts of society. The Emperor had publicly 
branded them as tramps, vagrants, men without a country, 
and their chief illustrated organ, Simplicissimus, was for- 
bidden at every railway stall in Prussia. Today a Socialist is 
elected to occupy the Speaker's chair of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, and the Constitutional Head of the State repudiates 
him, and in appearance gives public notice that he may nulli- 
fy the organic law of the Empire if its suits his personal 

All this has ,to do with the external Emperor, and if we 
deal with externals only, we may be led astray. 

Wilhelm II is a socialist he is the greatest socialist on 
earth. He has no quarrel with socialism, but he very prop- 
erly resents the mixing up of socialism and politics. Social- 
ism has to do with the welfare of one's country possibly of 
all countries. Politics has to do only with success at the 
next election. Theodore Roosevelt is a politician Wilhelm 
II is a patriot. 

About forty years ago, when I lived with a German 
family, fitting for an American collegiate, I saw something 
of "young Prince Wilhelm," as he was then called. Boys 
are not easily fooled by one another, and the impressions of 
childhood are apt to be not only lasting but remarkably 
accurate. The Emperor is no demagogue. He loves the ap- 
plause of the world almost as much as our two competing 
candidates for the Presidency. Yet, closely as I have sought 
to follow his public career both before and since coming 
to the throne, I have never caught him playing the dem- 

agogue or deceiving by false promises. He has made mis- 
takes of judgment, or rather, he has been the victim of time- 
serving Ministers who had not the courage to oppose him; 
but throughout his quarter-century of Imperial rule he has 
been not only faithful to his pledges regarding the main- 
tenance of peace, but he has never forfeited the highest title 
in my vocabulary, that of gentleman . 

The German Emperor has been reared in a political at- 
mosphere where the great problems discussed by Henry 
George are solved not by an appeal to party expediency or 
interested bosses, but by a cold scientific study of what is 
good for the State for all time. Wilhelm II has, I believe, 
read and pondered Henry George's monumental "Progress 
and Poverty," and it is no small credit to him and to the 
administration of which he is the head, that the first prac- 
tical application of single tax principles should have been 
made in the Province of Confucius when Germany organ- 
ized Kiau-Chow in 1897. 

To say that Germany is fifty years ahead of this country 
in what is best in socialism is to state the matter with great 

Germany has solved a dozen vital questions about which 
our highly paid politicians are pretending to wring their 
hands in despair ; and moreover the reforms which Germany 
has made since my boyhood are nearly all socialistic in 
the best sense and conducive to the happiness of the whole 
people rather than for the enrichment of a favored few. 

The Kaiser's government gives the people better railway 
service, better postal service, better trolley and tram-car 
service, and above all furnishes a national express or parcel 
post very much more efficient than anything we know in 
America, and at about one-tenth the cost in this country. 
These are all a species of partnership between the Govern- 
ment and the people. The list could be lengthened to include 
most admirably conducted municipal markets, municipal 
laundries, municipal street-lighting and in fact nearly every 
form of enterprise which with us tends to become a trust 
or monopoly very profitable to a few, but unjustly burden- 
some to the people at large. 

While we are not of those hero-worshippers who look 
for salvation to any one man alone, we yet recognize the 
propriety of giving credit to Napoleon for the French Code 
which bears his name. We cordially assent when the vener- 
able Wilhelm I is called "the founder of the German Em- 
pire." To the same degree, we deem it right that in any 
future record of the progress made in our times by human- 
itarian ideas, if credit is due to any one man, that man is 
the one who now rules over the most scientifically governed 
State of modern times His Majesty Wilhelm II by the 
grace of God King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany. 

July August, 1941 



A Visit to Switzerland 


FTER four months of inquiries by French and Swiss 
authorities, I finally obtained permission to visit 
Switzerland. Compared with France it is an Eldorado where 
you see and can buy bread in the bakeries, sweets and 
chocolate in the patisseries, sausages and ham in the butch- 
ers, and so on. But compared with the Switzerland I knew 
thirty years ago and even with the Switzerland of 1939 at 
the National Exposition in Zurich the country now re- 
minds one more of the dialogues of Gesslcr's soldiers, Leut- 
hold and Friesshard, about reverence to empty hats, than 
of William Tell's dialogue with his son Walter about free- 
dom and independence. 

There are indeed restrictions in Switzerland ; but while it 
is almost impossible in France and Germany to find any- 
thing besides the rationed food supplies, Switzerland has 
additional supplies, like potatoes, fine bread, chocolate, meat, 
and so on. 

In addition, every Swiss and every foreigner who has 
been in the country more than three months, receives sepa- 
rate tickets for soap, clothes, shoes, etc. 

The chief reason for this relative abundance is that five 
months before the war (April, 1939), every household was 
obliged to make an inventory of its principal food supply 
for two months. There was published a complete list of the 
amount of flour, rice, beans, condensed milk, and other ali- 
ments that each family had. These stocks were renewed 
periodically by each household, independently of the large 
stocks of the State itself. 

To maintain this standard of living, all the land is now 
under the control of Dr. F. I. Wahlen, chief of the agricul- 
tural and economic section of the Ministry of Nutrition. 
According to his plan, every parcel of fertile land, even the 
lawns of the public gardens of Zurich, Berne and Geneva, 
must be exploited. Of the 2000 square miles of arable land, 
only 400 had previously been devoted to wheat growing. 
Now Dr. Wahlen demands that 1000 sq. mi. be used for 
wheat, 400 for other grains, and 600 for potatoes and other 

Together with this goes reduced production in other lines. 
In the cattle line, cows are to be reduced from 900,000 to 
700,000. and oxen from 800,000 to 550,000 ; pigs are to be 
reduced from 960,000 to 540,000. Meanwhile, an intensifica- 
tion of dairy production is demanded; and horses and sheep 
are to be increased by 20%. 

Thus Dr. Wahlen hopes to make Switzerland independent 
and self-sufficient as it was sixty years ago. He reproaches 
the last two generations for having neglected agriculture 
and concentrating mostly on cattle and dairy production. 

To Georgeists, the danger in this governmental control is 
apparent. Some leading men in Switzerland also recognize 
it. There is Dr. A. Johr, for instance, president of the 
Council of the most important private bank, the Swiss 
Credit Bank. At a meeting of the General Assembly, Dr. 
Johr said: "Private initiative, more flexible, more personal 
and more adaptable, can often succeed where bureaus, 
more inflexible, acting more by routine, and more formal, 
fail. The State, embracing too much, finally injures itself." 

As I have already emphasized in a previous article,* the 
chief reason for the high cost of living, as I see it, is in the 
high custom duties collected by the confederate govern- 
ment, and the almost complete lack of distinction between 
land and labor property in the cantonal systems of taxation. 

It is astonishing that a country that has "no fuel, no coal, 
no iron, no gold" (a slogan at the Zurich Exposition) should 
raise 80% of its confederate revenue by custom duties 
which amount to 100 francs per capita. The reason for this 
is that every one of the twenty-five cantons, as a sovereign 
state, must be considered as the highest landowner; hence, 
there doesn't remain for the Confederation any other im- 
portant source of revenue than the custom duties and sim- 
ilar measures. It was only due to the threat of war that 
the Confederation decided to "violate" indirectly the sover- 
eignty of the cantons, by imposing octrois on a certain per- 
centage of the cantonal income and property taxes, part of 
which are derived from land values. 

A people with a finely developed sense of justice and 
freedom, like the Swiss, tends instinctively toward legisla- 
tion that divides the tax burden equitably, deriving most of 
the revenue from benefits that the citizens receive from the 
community, and falling as little as possible upon labor, skill 
and initiative. It is characteristic of the conscientiousness 
of the Swiss that many cantons publish the complete list of 
figures of the revenue collected by the tax gatherers from 
the taxpayers! But knowledge of the distinction between 
land and improvements, a necessary step in equitable fiscal 
reform, is quite unknown to the Swiss. 

During my sojourn in Switzerland, I investigated the land 
value assessments, and found them inept for immediate 
taxation purposes. The Peasant Secretariat uses in its statis- 
tics separate categories for "inventory" land values and 
"yield" land values. The inventory land values are based 
on selling value, and therefore vary with the intention of 
the landowner to buy or sell, and with conditions in the 
market. (Inventory land values vary from 20% to 300% 

*"Impressions of a Georgeist in Switzerland," LAND AND FREEDOM, 
November-December 1939. 



July August, 

of the average land values!) The yield land values are cal- 
culated every year by capitalizing the net yield during the 
year, the fluctuations thus depending upon the actual yield. 
However, it is surprising to find that the fluctuations of the 
yield land values are greater than those of the inventory 
land values. 

The following two tables show the comparison between 
yield and inventory values in the various land holdings for 
1939, and the average of these two values for the years 
1901-1938. The figures of the values are in francs per acre. 

I. iQ39 

12-25 25-37 37-75 Over 75 Aver. 

I28O IIOO IO3O 950 I2OO 
760 960 1080 860 8OO 

Sizes in acres 7-12 

Inventory land value . . 1570 

Yield land value .... 600 

Proportion of yield to 

inventory value 38.5% 58.3% 81.5% 105% 91.5% 75% 

Sizes in acres 7-12 12-25 25-37 37-75 Over 75 Aver. 

Inventory land value . . 900 700 620 570 465 670 

Yield land value .... 515 615 710 700 605 670 
Proportion of yield to 

inventory value 57-5% 91% 116% 123% 132% 100% 

These two tables demonstrate two things. First, that the 
proportion of yield value to inventory value varies with the 
size of the holdings ; it is small in the small holdings, in- 
creasing with the size of the holdings. The falling off of the 
inventory values in the large holdings indicates the tend- 
ency of small land holders to exaggerate the value of their 
land, the reason for this being the difficulty and desirability 
of acquiring money to purchase larger estates. On the other 
hand, the ascending trend of yield value with the size of 
the holding indicates that the larger estates can be used 
more profitably. In a large holding, single plots can be more 
easily subdivided for different forms of production. 

The second thing demonstrated is that these differences 
are partially compensated in averaging many years together, 
although the above-mentioned trends for the different sizes 
do not disappear altogether. (The two averages for yield 
and inventory values for the years 1901-1938 both happen 
to be 670, but this, of course, is a coincidence.) These aver- 
ages give important means for the impartial assessment of 
true land values throughout the country, excluding the skill 
of the workers and accidental conditions. This method 
ought to be adopted and extended by the Peasant Secretar- 
iat (which already has the respectable number of 15,000 
different assessments), so that the value of every plot of 
land becomes a matter of public record. 

And then the confederate government and the twenty- 
five cantonal governments, and the one million voters, must 
be persuaded of the utility and equity of a single tax on 
land values. Certainly it is much easier to decree restrictions 
, . . But is the effect the same ? 

Georgeism A Planned Economy 


TN the March-April and November-December 1940 num- 
- hers of LAND AND FRKKDOM, I expressed the hope that 
Thomists and Georgeists would find it possible to resolve 
their ideological and practical disagreements and mutually 
utilize the suggestions each school offers toward the solution 
of our economic problems. The foremost obstacle men- 
tioned was the "mind-set" of each group which results in 
the "planned economy" outlook of the conforming Thomist 
and the "unconscious cooperation" of the Georgeist. It is 
the bruited denial of freedom of the will in the economic 
sphere that would make the Thomist hesitate. But, granted 
misconceptions of this kind be overcome, there still remains 
the question of the will and its place in political economy. 
And if, with the Thomist, we admit volitional freedom, the 
further question remains : Does this freedom mean freedom 
to direct economic life, or does this life remain outside the 
domain of the will ? And does a denial of freedom from 
economic law (except at a penalty) posit a mechanistic 
conception of man? 

We must satisfy this Thomist notion of volitional free- 
dom we must show that we too believe in man capable of 
guiding his own destiny and not altogether at the mercy of 
impersonal forces. But then the difficulty presents itself 
how can we reconcile this belief in man with the Georgeist 
notion of impersonal economic law ? Must we not, in justice 
to man's hierarchical rank and in recognition of his freedom, 
postulate a planned economic system? A Thomist might 
complain: Wherein is the Georgeist ideology superior to 
that of the Communist or Fascist? Does it not enslave man 
to an ironbound system of so-called natural economic laws? 
Instead of allowing man to hold his economic life before 
him and arrange it intelligently, would not Georgeism 
compel him to leave all things to impersonal laws so that 
economic life is relegated to the unconscious? In a word, 
does not the whole Georgean concept degrade man, make 
him a mere pawn incapable of conscious control over his 
life is it not a system of thought congenial to materialism, 
determinism, fatalism? 

On the surface it would appear a damning indictment. 
Indeed, there are extremely individualistic Georgeists to 
whom such an indictment would be applicable. Man, they 
repeat with the laissez-faire capitalists, must pursue his own 
self-interest, he must not directly work for the common 
good. Economic life is like the stomach, if you pay 
attention to it, it works badly so leave it to natural im- 
mutable laws. Conscious cooperation, that civilized con- 
cept, we must put from us each for himself, and then, 
through some jugglery of "natural economic laws" this 
"enlightened selfishness" will heave up communal good. 

July August, 1941 



And labor? It is a commodity to be bought and sold 
subject to the law of supply and demand as every other 
commodity. No room here for any idea of the dignity of 
labor, of a living wage, of the superiority of human rights 
over property rights no room here for any thought of labor 
guiding its own destiny, forming its own association, defend- 
ing its own rights. 

The trouble with transferring the ideological reasonings 
of Georgeists and Thomists on this question to the practical 
realm is that such a transfer is the result in both cases of 
analogical reasoning. The Thomist speaks of man's dignity, 
his "differentia" from other animals being in his volition 
and intellect, and then argues that to deny conscious control 
of the economic process to man is, in effect, to rob him of 
this "differentia." The Georgeist has his example of the 
digestive system how nicely it works when we let it work 
unconsciously and how badly it works when we begin pay- 
ing too much attention to it. And this he transfers to the 
economic sphere and likens its laws to the laws of digestion. 
And because it is analogical reasoning neither example 
seems to me necessarily to hold. For since it is zve who 
leave our economic life to the "unconscious" it is we who 
will to do so, and this implies we could will not to do so 
(though we might take a penalty). And again, there are 
obviously departments in which free will is inoperative 
(we are all subject to the laws of gravitation whether we 
will it or not) and whether economic life is one of these or 
not must depend upon which a planned or an unplanned 
economy better serves the common good. Surely if an 
unplanned economy will work for the common good it would 
be superstitious to insist on a planned one to conform to our 
ideological requirements. And if we find that the unplanned 
economy does not work for the common good, no amount 
of "digestive process" reasoning should make us stick to it. 
We have had some experience with the planned variety. 
As to the unplanned, the Georgeist would say we have never 
really tried it ; traditional capitalist economy was a sham 

It is my opinion that Georgeists could very well discard 
Mandeville's concept of "enlightened selfishness." It might 
he argued that use of this notion is one reason Georgeism 
makes so little headway among the general population. 
Even if we do build, or would build, society on this principle, 
we wouldn't like to admit it if our blueprints were ideal- 
istic, nothing else would be. But I hardly think that a 
valid throw at Georgeists, as far as the general populace is 
concerned. Those among them who have heard of the 
system think of it as another idealistic venture in the same 
class with Socialism, Communism, and (God help us) even 
Townsendism. But, apart from ideological or psychological 
reasons, I think, for practical purpose, we might well sub- 
stitute the notion of conscious participation in economic life 
for the Mandeville principle. 

Under the Georgeist system, we are told, if the individual 
dislikes the terms of his employer he can, having free access 
to natural resources, go off and employ himself. All very 
well in a simple society. But we must promise the worker 
something better than that today. We must offer him a 
more positive share in the great technical resources that 
exist today. Something should be done to assist him in 
getting the means for extracting wealth from land. We 
must be concerned with individual workers, and find a place 
for them in our social system. 

To realize this ideal, we must look for a way that avoids 
collectivism of the Communist variety. The most feasible 
seems to have independent workers band together in con- 
scious cooperation and, by their united savings, obtain the 
means of production. In short, to make Georgeism applica- 
ble to present-day needs we must utilize the Rochdale 
principles. Thus, after application of the single tax, we 
would proceed along the path of group (rather than na- 
tional) planning. This neither implies a centralized bureau- 
cracy, of which Georgeists are rightly suspicious, nor does 
it imply a "fixed market." For the products of the various 
labor groups (who banded together to obtain the means to 
operate separate industries, each a unit from the rest) would 
have to meet on a free market. This cooperative system is 
indeed what Henry George himself envisioned as a probable 
result of the single tax. 

This utilization of the "conscious cooperation" concept 
implies that labor will not be regarded in the same category 
with goods, as a market commodity. This because, as Leo 
XIII points out, "the freedom which man enjoys as the 
ruler of creation, and the personality which he injects into 
his labor put upon the performance of work a dignity which 
cannot allow it to be bought and sold and which ennobles 
it into a super-material sphere." Though, from the point of 
logic, many Georgeists regard labor as a market commodity, 
I think they revolt against the notion (unconsciously 
perhaps) as desirable or in accordance with man's dignity. 

Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster speaks of culture as "the 
repression of egoism." I quarrel a little with the words; 
I would rather say culture is the sublimation of egoism. It 
is a non-intellectual definition and the only one I find satis- 
factory. And applying it to economic systems, I would 
conclude that any system built primarily upon unrestrained 
individualism is hardly conducive to the cultural life. Just 
as no ideology built upon unrestrained nationalism can 
promote individual or national culture, so no economic 
system can build itself around a concept of individual greed 
and expect either individual or communal culture to result 
from it. 

All in all, because of man's place in the hierarchy of 
beings, because of the cultural and practical reasons dis- 
cussed. I prefer to think of Georgeism as what, in the last 
analysis, it really is a planned economy. 



July August, 

Three Theories of Rent 


[This is the second and final instalment of the article, the first 
having appeared in the May June, 1941 issue. We take this occa- 
sion to correct two typographical errors in that part of the article 
heretofore published: on page 95, 6th line fom top of second column, 
the word "normal" should read "moral"; on page 06, 28th line from 
top of second column, the word "ascertain" should read "ascribe." 
Immediately following this concluding instalment will be found an 
article entitled "In Defense of Ricardo," a comment on the views 
of Mr. McNally. ED.] 

Th Realists 

fl^HE realists are neither moralists nor psychologists. 
* Their method is purely scientific. They insist upon a 
strictly literal explanation of economic life as it is today. 
In discussing the market, they have in mind only one kind 
namely, that which operates today. They regard it as the 
area in which men bid for the goods and services that other 
men have to sell. The mere presence of goods and services 
does not give them value. Human labor alone does not 
create value. There must be a demand for them. But the 
mere bidding on the part of buyers is not enough. To have 
value, the goods and services must be actually sold. Before 
sale, they can have only a potential or speculative value. 
Every business consists of a buying and production depart- 
ment and an administrative and selling department. Some 
business concerns of course do not make things themselves 
but buy them ready-made from other establishments, and 
their only production activities, if any, consist in getting 
them ready for sale. Although the owners of businesses 
supervise the production and buying, their chief personal 
functions are those of administration and selling. Goods 
and services may be produced, but they cannot reach the 
hands of consumers and have value until they are sold. 
They are sold for money or credit by means of which other 
goods and services are obtained, either immediately or later, 
in exchange for those that have been sc!d. In the market, 
buyers are free to refuse to pay the price demanded by 
sellers, and, on the other hand, sellers are free to refuse 
the price offered by buyers. Neither the buyers nor the 
sellers coerce or compel each other. Unless this freedom 
prevails, there is no market and thus no value. 

Now just as private services must be bought if people 
want to obtain them, so public services must be bought if 
people want to receive them. To receive the latter, one 
must occupy a certain portion of land, for these services 
are only delivered to sites or locations and are sold to the 
occupants by landowners. The payment is called rent. 
Rent or the value of land, therefore, is based on public 
services and on nothing else. The landowners do not sell 
or rent land as such but only the public facilities that attach 

to land. If these facilities were obtained direct from the 
government, they would not be services but privileges or 
benefits. To constitute services they must be obtained by 
purchase through the democratic process of the market. 
The government officials cannot sell the public facilities, for 
they are not in the market. Why they cannot possibly be 
in the market I shall explain later. 

The value of the public services is determined by the 
bargaining that takes place in the market between the land- 
owners and the occupants of the sites. We observe that the 
landowner and the user of the site enter into a free con- 
tract, neither coercing or threatening the other. The tenant 
is free to refuse to pay the rent demanded, for not only 
does the landowner not coerce him, but the landowner has 
no monopoly of public services. The tenant can obtain 
them at other sites. And by the same token, the landowner 
is free to refuse the rent offered by the tenant. There is 
more than one tenant. This is democracy at its best. And 
so we see that rent is not an arbitrary payment like a tax 
but is fixed by the competition of the market. The tenant 
pays only what he believes the services are worth to him. 

The public servants comprise the production department 
of the public service business, while the landowners com- 
prise the administrative and selling department. The former 
receive stipulated salaries and wages, but unlike the em- 
ployees of a private business, they fix their own compen- 
sations and pay themselves out of the wealth they seize from 
the people through taxation. They do not receive them 
from the owners of the public capital by any exchange of 
services. The landowners, on the other hand, receive their 
compensation in the market by virtue of their service in 
selling the public services to site-users. This compensation 
constitutes the profits of the public service business which 
remain after all the costs, consisting of the wages of the 
public employees an^ the interest on the borrowed capital 
plus all other costs of depreciation and obsolescence, have 
been met. The net income or net rent left in the hands 
of the landowners when capitalized at the current rate of 
interest gives the capital value of land. This capital value 
of land is nothing else but the value of the public capital. 

To the extent of merchandising the public services to 
site-users, the landowners are the owners or administrators 
of the public capital. Unlike the owners of private capital, 
they fail to supervise the employees of the production 
department. The result is irresponsible government and 
bureaucracy, for these employees are responsible today, not 
to the owners of the public capital, but to the electorate, or 
to be more precise, to the pressure-groups to whom they 

July August, 



grant privileges and subsidies in order to maintain them- 
selves in office. These privileges and subsidies call for 
taxes in addition to those deemed necessary to provide 
compensation for the public employees. All these taxes, 
including those used to compensate the public employees, 
reduce by that amount the value of the public services to 
site-users and less rent is paid. But the burden on the site- 
user is not only the amount of the taxes he pays but the 
loss caused by the indirect cost of taxation that is, by the 
methods used to collect taxes and the restrictions and regu- 
lations imposed on his business directly or indirectly by the 
manner in which the tax funds are spent. Thus the site- 
user is still further impoverished, and the amount of rent 
he pays is even more reduced. He does not pay twice for 
public services, once in rent and again in taxes, as the neo- 
Ricardians claim. Taxes are a charge against rent. The 
landowners today do not pay the wages of the public em- 
ployees and the costs incidental to the maintenance and 
the borrowing of the public capital directly. These are paid 
out of the taxes collected from site-users. Not all the 
taxes, however, are used to finance the public services. 
Some of the funds are wasted, and a large part of them 
goes to finance disservices such as subsidies and various 
ventures for the regulation of and, consequently, interfer- 
ence with private enterprise. But the landowners do pay 
the public expenses indirectly when their rent is reduced 
by the taxes levied on their tenants. If all taxes were 
abolished, landowners could pay the public expenses di- 
rectly, because rent would be increased by at least the 
amount of those taxes. In fact, they would have to pay 
them and also to see that the funds were spent as effectively 
as possible, for otherwise there would be no public services 
and consequently no rent. And it is reasonable to assume 
that it would be to their advantage not only to do this but 
also to supervise the public employees and to extend their 
administrative functions in connection with the public 
capital, for the abolition of taxes together with their con- 
comitant indirect costs arising out of the restrictive and 
punitive methods of collecting them and the waste and 
inefficiency and the devastation of private enterprise in- 
volved in the spending of them, would enable site-users to 
pay more rent and thus to increase the landowners' profits. 
The realists, however, are careful enough to point out that 
landowners are no more aware of their real functions and 
the true nature of rent than are other people. 

In order to see more clearly why the site-user does not 
pay twice for public services, let us turn our attention to 
private enterprise for an illustration. If a furniture estab- 
lishment, for instance, were to conduct its affairs as the 
public service business is conducted, it would soon go into 
bankruptcy. If the owner failed to supervise and pay the 
employees and allowed them to compensate themselves by 
seizing the wealth of his customers, his income would fall 

off. His customers, being in reduced circumstances as a 
result of the depredations of the employees, would not and 
could not possibly pay twice for the furniture. If a bed- 
room suite cost $1,000 to make and to sell and the employees 
seized $500 from each customer for their compensation, the 
customer would pay only $500 to the owner for the suite. 
He would pay the difference between the total cost of the 
suite and the amount seized from him by the employees. 
In other words, what he would pay would be equivalent 
to the value of only the administrative and selling services 
of the owner himself. The same thing is true of public 
services. The rent the site-user pays today represents not 
the total cost of the public services (for part of them is 
financed by taxes the part that I term the production 
department) but only the value of the landowner's services 
fixed by the market plus the amount of taxes that are now 
levied on the value of land and the wages of any private 
employees he may have. It is doubtful whether the owner 
of the furniture factory would receive as much as $500 for 
the bedroom suite, for the manner in which the employees 
would seize the customer's wealth would impoverish the 
customer by more than the actual amount seized. If these 
seizures continued, the owner's income would steadily de- 
cline until he was forced out of business. 

I wish to refer now to the statement that I previously 
made that government officials cannot sell the public facili- 
ties because they are not in the market. Only the owners 
of capital, whether public or private, from the use of which 
services flow, can sell those services. Government officials 
do not own the public capital, not even as representatives 
of the electorate. The masses of the people are consumers 
of the public services and they cannot also be owners of the 
things they buy. That would be like a lawyer acting as his 
own client or a storekeeper acting as his own customer. 
It might be said that they are owners in the collective sense 
and consumers in the individual sense; but then there is 
something else to consider. The owners of capital receive 
the income from it, but the masses of the people do not 
receive any income from the public capital. Furthermore, 
the citizens of a country cannot exercise proper supervision 
over the public servants, because there is no unity among 
them. They have many different interests, and each one 
seeks his own welfare, not the welfare of all. Government, 
therefore, is responsible only to the strongest pressure- 
groups, and the particular interests of each conflict with 
those of the others. The owners of a private business may 
at times disagree on policies, but they are all united for their 
common good by a common interest their income. The 
citizens receive no income from the public capital and, 
therefore, have no unity of purpose. And being divided 
against one another, their only direct interest in government 
lies in the favors that are doled out to them. Their indirect 
interest concerns itself with the public services, but these 



July August, 1941 

they buy in the market direct from landowners as occupants 
of sites. The public servants have no contact with the 
market. They could only be brought into the market and 
made responsible through the medium of landowners if all 
taxes were abolished and they received their compensation 
direct from landowners out of the increased rent that would 


The rent we have been discussing is ground rent as dis- 
tinguished from the rent that is paid for the use of a build- 
ing or a machine. We have seen that rent is not paid for 
land as such nor for the natural advantages attaching to 
land. Rent is paid for those advantages of location that 
cannot be dissipated or equalized by exchange namely, the 
public services, such as public highways, sewerage systems, 
police and fire protection, etc. It is determined by the 
competition of the market and is a voluntary payment to 
the landowner. It cannot be paid direct to public officials, 
for then it would be a tax. Taxes are always paid under 
compulsion. Those who advocate paying rent direct to 
public officials or who advocate taxing the value of land 
(which would require public assessments) are in effect 
demanding that we scrap part of the exchange system 
that part which concerns itself with public services and 
that we place ourselves to that extent under the domination 
of the state. They are dangerously close to the Marxist 
who demands that the entire exchange system be scrapped 
and that we place ourselves entirely under the domination 
of the state. 

The realists, on the other hand, favor extending the 
exchange system or, in other words, the democratic way of 
life, so as to bring the public servants within its scope and 
make them responsible individuals. They contend that 
private property in land as distinguished from mere private 
possession must be maintained, as private property in land 
is the bulwark that protects private enterprise from the 
encroachments of bureaucracy. Destroy private property 
in land, they say, and the trend toward state socialism would 
be accelerated. 

Some people honestly fear private property in land 
because they believe that it leads to the holding of land out 
of use. They view the problem of poverty and unemploy- 
ment as a land question. This view is invalid because there 
is no scarcity of land in the aggregate. There is a scarcity 
of certain types of land or locations but so is there a scar- 
city of certain kinds of skilled labor. Furthermore, to say 
that land is held out of use is to set themselves up as 
arbiters of what rent the landowner must accept. This 
attitude leads them to demand that land be taxed into use. 
This -is the attitude of the fascist who has little or no under- 
standing of the basic principles of the exchange system. 
We cannot force the production of wealth. Production is 

a voluntary process. Forcing land into use is only one step 
removed from forcing employers to pay minimum wages 
or forcing industry to charge prices fixed by the state. It 
lessens rather than increases the production of wealth. 
Landowners as a class are anxious to receive an income 
from their land, and they can only receive it if they rent 
their land to those who are able and willing to use it. Some 
landowners of course have very poor business sense, and 
their land lies idle because they demand too high a rent. 
This does not force men to go without land, for they merely 
take some other location. Nor does it compel them neces- 
sarily to go to poorer locations, for the owners of the poor- 
est locations sometimes demand so high a rent that producers 
move on to better locations. If we are to maintain the 
democratic process of the market, landowners must be 
accorded the same freedom to refuse the rent offered as 
site-users enjoy to refuse to pay the rent that is asked. Other- 
wise there can be no rent. Rent is established by the 
bargaining process, and there must be freedom on both 

We cannot force land into use, but we can increase the 
demand for land by abolishing all the taxes and restraints 
that are depressing industry. When industry is depressed, 
it uses less land, rent falls, and landowners are inclined in 
some cases to wait until the demand revives rather than rent 
their land at too low a figure. Whether land is ever actually 
held out of use is a matter for the psychologist to determine. 
Not concerning himself with psychology, all the economist 
knows is that land is driven out of use by taxes and bureau- 
cratic interference with private enterprise. Private prop- 
erty in land today is gradually being destroyed, and land is 
rapidly passing from private hands into the clutches of the 
state as a result of the heavy taxes that bear on industry and 
on land itself. We can scarcely imagine the heights to 
which civilization could rise, the stimulus to invention and 
productive effort, the flowering of the arts and the increased 
mental and physical vitality that would result, were industry 
freed of bureaucratic restrictions and society purged of 
political corruption and inefficiency. And it must be 
definitely stated here that the resultant advantages would 
not be absorbed by rent, as the Ricardians claim, for as I 
previously pointed out, rent is not fixed by the "margin." 
No one would bid for any location if all of the advantages 
were absorbed by rent. 

A great deal more can be written on this subject, and I 
realize that many questions may arise in the reader's mind 
that I have not specifically answered. However, I believe 
that the thoughtful reader will find that I have anticipated 
some of them at least, if only by rather broad strokes. My 
chief purpose has been to stimulate thought on this very 
important subject. 

July August, 1941 



In Defense of Ricardo 


\Jtn-iILE we are in accord with Mr. McNally on the 

importance of the phenomenon of rent in modern 
society, we cannot agree with his theories. We therefore 
feel obliged to submit this extended comment on the 
thoughtful article Mr. McNally has written. 

In presenting his analysis of three theories of rent, Mr. 
McNally begins with the Ricardian, the "orthodox" concep- 
tion. After a statement of the Ricardian law (in the first 
paragraph under the heading "The Ricardians"), the author 
uses the familiar island illustration to attempt to prove 
the inadequacy of the theory (second paragraph). In settling 
A on better land and B on poorer, he assumes the need for 
A to police his own holding. But the assumption is un- 
warranted that A's excess of five bushels is the result of 
police protection ; it is due to the greater fertility of A's loca- 
tion. Admitting for the sake of argument that policemen 
have enabled A to produce the extra five bushels, and ad- 
mitting further that they get the whole excess should we 
assume that A gets no other benefit from police protection ? 
Since we are asked to assume the necessity of protection 
for the five (rent) bushels, is it asking too much that the 
policemen also protect A in his possession of the remaining 
five bushels, as well as A's person in his daily exposure to the 
thieves and murderers of all kinds in Mr. McNally's realistic 
world ? 

As for Mr. McNally's criticism, (in the fourth para- 
graph) that the Ricardian demonstration does not apply to 
an exchange society, we say : Not only is the Ricardian 
theory applicable to an exchange society ; it is not really 
applicable to any other. The simple conditions used by Ri- 
cardians in illustrating the law of rent are situations of an 
exchange economy, with society reduced to a few individ- 
uals, for the sake of simplicity but this is not a "primitive" 
or individual economy as opposed to an exchange economy, 
which Mr. McNally would have us believe. 

In the same paragraph, Mr. McNally attempts to show 
the inconsistency of the Ricardian theory by asserting that 
since B would gain no advantage in renting A's land for 
five bushels, rent would have to be less than five bushels, 
i.e., less than the excess; the inference being that if B did 
not rent A's land there would be no rent. This, however, is 
not true. If B'does not rent A's land, we have a right to as- 
sume that A will use it himself and collect, out of the prod- 
uce of ten bushels, five bushels as rent and five as wages. It 
may be argued that A might have more land than he needed 
for himself and it is this surplus land which he offers to 
let for rent. But such an argument would suppose a case of 
land speculation. In other words, the ten-bushel land, of 
which we have just assumed a surplus, would be the normal 
margin, and the five-bushel land an abnormal or speculative 

margin. Normal rent cannot be less than the excess pro- 
ductivity, because the competitive bidding keeps the rent 
up to the whole of the excess productivity. When the sup- 
ply of land is greater than the demand, that land is marginal 
and can have no value. If, as in the case here given, A is 
willing to take less than the "excess" as rent (let us say three 
bushels instead of five), this is proof that speculative rent 
had entered the picture, and the acceptance of the smaller, 
more normal, rent signalizes that the speculative bubble has 
begun to burst, and speculative rent is coming down. The 
Ricardian law is still working the margin is raised from 
five-bushel land to seven-bushel land. 

It is assumed, (in the fifth paragraph) that A and B now 
exchange products for products, instead of products for 
land. B on his inferior land produces five bushels of potatoes 
with the same labor that A produces ten bushels of corn. 
In the open market, says Mr. McNally, B would receive 
twice as much for each bushel of potatoes as A would re- 
ceive for each bushel of corn, in which case A would enjoy 
no advantage. But this assumes that B's land is the only land 
on which potatoes are being produced, and that A's land 
is the only land on which corn is being produced. What of 
a third person, C, producing either corn or potatoes on still 
inferior land? In such a case, wouldn't both A and B enjoy 
an advantage? And wouldn't that advantage be due to the 
superiority of the natural qualities of their land? And 
of course it would be quite arbitrary to rule out that 
on A's land ten bushels of potatoes might be produced, 
as against B's five, so that A need not exchange at all with 
B on the basis that Mr. McNally has supposed. 

The last paragraph under "The Ricardians" is full of 
amazing conclusions. We can agree that no one can profit 
from natural advantages when he does not own land, but 
must instead pay rent for such advantages. The fact is that 
landowners always charge for natural advantages, and such 
are not equalized through the process of exchange ; they can 
only be equalized through the process of a tax on land 

The statement that A would go bankrupt if he did not 
own land but rented it from some one, is puzzling. We fail 
to find any ground for this conclusion in the examples pre- 
viously given. First, (second paragraph) we are told that 
there would be no rent. Then, (third paragraph) that the 
rent would be turned over to the police. Next, (fourth para- 
graph) it is said that rent could not be more than the excess 
and might be much less. Finally, (last paragraph) there is 
another illustration of no rent. But if the sobriety of this 
type of discussion may be moistened with a little levity, we 
think Mr. McNally and ourselves are on common ground 



July August, 

when he supposes a situation in which anyone but a land- 
lord is very likely to wind up in bankruptcy! 

With all deference, we submit that Mr. McNally mis- 
understands Ricardo's law. He seems to think that rent, ac- 
cording to the Ricardians, is determined by actually mea- 
suring the wealth produced on a given location with that 
produced at the margin by men of identical ability. Such 
a process is impracticable as well as unnecessary. Rent is 
determined by demand on the part of many individuals of 
varying ability, it may well be for particular locations. It 
is obvious that their demand will be determined by the 
possibilities of the different locations, and by a knowledge 
of such possibilities on the part of the men, with an ability 
to take advantage of them. The rent of land will tend to 
be determined by these possibilities, and this is implied in 
Ricardo's statement. Rent can be determined just as easily 
whether the bidders be of the same or varying degrees of 
ability. What each bidder is willing to pay for land is based 
upon its superiority over another location, the value of 
which in turn can be determined by still less desirable land, 
and so on until we reach the poorest location in use, which 
has no (exchange) value, and which is the margin. As long 
as there is a margin, it will be the final basis of determining 
the rent of land. When the margin has disappeared alto- 
gether, rent will be determined by the minimum of subsist- 

Mr. McNally has not disproved the Ricardian law of 
rent. We reaffirm our conviction in Ricardo's self-evident 
proposition : The rent of land is determined by the excess 
of its produce over that which the same application can 

secure from the least productive land in use. 
* * * 

More time is spent in "Three Theories of Rent" on the 
Neo-Ricardians than on the Ricardians. Mr. McNally 
would have done well to spend more time on the latter, for 
his whole superstructure depends upon a refutation of the 
Ricardian law of rent, as we shall see. 

The "Neo-Ricardians" is a recent name for those who 
hold that rent is due only to social and governmental ser- 
vices and not to natural advantages. We would like to in- 
terpolate at this point that so-called social services, as dis- 
tinguished from governmental services, are nothing more 
than the activities of people,springing from the division of 
labor. If we examine the idea of governmental functions it 
will be seen that they are but the result of a specialization 
or extension of the ordinary social services, being different 
only in degree and not in kind. 

Mr. McNally considers the Neo-Ricardians a step in ad- 
vance of the Ricardians. However, he has some criticisms 
to make of their views. In his second paragraph (under the 
heading "The Neo-Ricardians") he criticizes the idea of 
so-called "stand-by" services as a factor in rent. Mr. Mc- 
Nally here seems to misunderstand the Neo-Ricardians in 

their meaning of "stand-by" services, for he describes these 
as consisting of the cost of carrying goods in stores, or 
standing ready to render some form of service. But this 
cannot be what the Neo-Ricardians mean if they intimate 
that the value of stand-by services goes to landowners. No 
individual service can increase rent. Goods and services are 
paid for in the price charged to the customer, as Mr. Mc- 
Nally correctly states. But the convenience of being locat- 
ed near the various services rendered is a service over and 
above that rendered by individual business men. That is a 
community service, caused by the presence and activities of 
the population, and is expressed in rent. If the Neo-Ricar- 
dians do attribute this service to the individual businesses 
themselves, they are in error. 

In this next paragraph, Mr. McNally includes proximity 
to market with natural advantages. We contend that this is 
a community advantage. However, Mr. McNally would 
eliminate both natural advantages and social services as 
factors of rent. His claim is that while they give utility, they 
do not give value to sites. Here he places some of his own 
philosophy, realism, in jeopardy. For it is not possible that 
these advantages and services can give to all sites the same 
degree of utility ; some sites are bound to get more than 
others, and as a result, must have some value. This is a 
truly real, as well as a Ricardian viewpoint. Mr. McNally 
has not eliminated the market nor, indeed, any other so- 
cial advantages as a determinant of rent. Is it not a mat- 
ter of common observation that sites near the market com- 
mand more rent than sites farther away? Indeed, as the 
Ricardians maintain, any factor, in the way of natural or 
social advantages, that makes one piece of land more desir- 
able than another, will give to that land a rent. 

In the rest of his discussion of the Neo-Ricardians, Mr. 
McNally criticizes their psychology that "rent is a debt due 
the public." We can discover nothing fundamentally wrong 
in this view which he assails, but since the limitations of 
space press upon us, we will proceed to an examination of 
that concept of rent which Mr. McNally endorses, and 

which he calls the "Realist" view. 
* * * 

In the second paragraph, Mr. McNally translates the 
processes of the goods market into the transaction of land- 
owners selling public services. He has sought to eliminate 
natural and social advantages as factors in creating rent, 
and to contend that only governmental or public services 
are factors. We have heretofore shown that* governmental 
or public services are but items in the larger category of 
social advantages, so that we find here another case of "rea- 
soning in a circle." In his third and fourth paragraph Mr. 
McNally further elucidates his conception of the landlord 
in the market, selling "public services." He says of the 
bargaining between landlord and tenant, "This is democracy 
at its best." Now it is obvious that land is needed by labor 

July August, 1941 



in order to produce. Those who do not own land are not on 
an equitable basis with those who do. Mr. McNally an- 
swers this by saying that land is not a "monopoly" ; that the 
use of land is on a competitive basis. We reply that no mat- 
ter how widely diffused is landownership, the fact remains 
that the owner has an advantage over the landless man. 
In countries such as France where there were a great many 
holdings split up among a great number of landowners, 
tenants were rackrented worse than where land was the 
subject of closer monopoly. 

The fifth paragraph seems to be the backbone of the Real- 
ist view. Herein we are told that waste in government and 
bureaucracy calls for more taxes than would be required 
for legitimate public services; that this reduces the value 
of public services to the site user who therefore pays less 
rent. "Landowners," says Mr. McNally, "do pay the public 
expenses indirectly when their rent is reduced by the taxes 
levied on their tenants." He proposes that all taxes be abol- 
islu-d, and all rent remitted to landowners, who would then, 
of necessity, be the administrators of public services on a 
competitive basis. This is indeed cause for rejoicing. ( ?) 
All the taxes of which tenants now complain are not the 
unmixed evil they think, implies Mr. McNally; are they 
not escaping the additional rent which the landowners 
would otherwise receive when waste and bureaucracy should 
be removed ? This is a paradox. 

All the blame for our present topsy-turvy system is placed 
upon bureaucratic cupidity. The landowner, as the true 
administrator of the public capital, says Mr. McNally, 
finds his hands tied by restrictions. But, he asserts, "land- 
owners are no more aware of their functions and the true 
nature of rent than are other people." This is realism in- 
deed ! to gratuitously offer landowners a function of which 
they have been unconscious all these centuries. If their pre- 
destined duty has made them the guardians of society, they 
have been woefully unaware of it. Plunder, aggression, 
greed, fraud, disregard of the common rights of others 
these have been more characteristic of the lords of the earth 
throughout the ages rather than concern with the common 
welfare and in times before bureaucracy could be made 
the scapegoat for all mankind's ills. 

Now it is clear why Mr. McNally has endeavored to do 
away with natural and social advantages, and to suppose 
that rent arises only because of the public services rendered. 
Manifestly, if rent is due to nature, or to the mere presence 
and activities of population, there is no reason in the world 
why the landowner should be the administrator of the rent 
fund. He is then not rendering any service whatsoever in 
making these advantages "available." They are there for 
people to come and take, and he is merely standing in the 

To explain why landowners, rather than the government, 
should be administrators of the rent fund, Mr. McNally 

uses an illustration from private business, in his sixth para- 
graph. His conclusions as to the private business are cor- 
rect, but we fail to see their applicability to public services. 
The analogy is ingenious, but serves no purpose. 

Mr. McNally goes on to state that citizens of a country 
have no common interest ; therefore no common adminis- 
trator, like the State, can serve for all of them. He would ac- 
cordingly turn over the government to the landowning class. 
This would be the end of democracy. The proprietary so- 
ciety advocated by Mr. McNally would be but the return to 
the old feudal system, in a new dress. 

The Realists, however, believe that under their plan we 
would only be extending our free market system. They 
counter the fear of private property in land with a fear of 
common property in land. They believe that we would be 
scrapping our exchange system if we allowed the govern- 
ment to administer the rent fund. To publicly collect rent 
as a tax, says Mr. McNally, would make it a compulsory 
payment, not the free exchange that a free society demands. 
We fail to see his distinction between a landlord and the 
government, in this respect. If a person chose to remain on 
a certain site, the landowner would demand that the full 
rent be paid under Mr. McNally's system, as much as the 
government would, under the public collection of rent. And 
under this latter system, a tenant would have a free choice 
to move to another site if he so desired even to a site where 
there was no rent to be paid at all the margin. 

Mr. McNally further objects to the proposal to force 
land into use by the taxation of land values. It is the word 
"force" that strikes him as being a bit fascistic. This is a 
quibble over words. If the "force" that we advocate will lead 
to a liberation of productive enterprise, let us not be con- 
cerned about the word's uglier connotations in the fascistic 

* * * 

Mr. McNally has spoken out against the evils of the 
bureaucracy of our present democratic processes. We join 
him in his sincere wish to be rid of the present corruption 
of officialdom, and we commend his able indictment of the 
arrogance of many of our public "servants." On the other 
hand, we feel there is less reason to distrust government 
of the people, with all its faults, than the aristocracy of 
landed proprietors which Mr. McNally offers as a substitute. 
We still believe in democracy, and one day we hope to at- 
tain a government of the people, by the people, and for the 
people and to replace high-handedness with high-minded- 
ness. Mr. McNally has said that landlords have not yet been 
made aware of their true function in society. We submit 
that this observation would have more weight if directed 
to the unawareness of our officials and electorate to their 
functions and duties. Government can be no better than 
the intelligence of the citizens who comprise it. 



July August, 

The Critics Criticized 


[This is the fifth of a series of articles by the same author, dealing 
with the objections of noted economists to the doctrines of Henry 
George, and the refutation of such objections. Eu. I 

YN a mildly-worded essay, Prof. Charles J. Bullock, in his 
* "Introduction to the Study of Economics" (Silver, 
Burdett & Co.) denounces Henry George's proposals. 

(Charles Jesse Bullock was born in Boston in iS6o.. He received 
his Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught eco- 
nomics in Cornell, Williams College, and Harvard. He is now Pro- 
fessor Emeritus of the latter university. He is a Fellow of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and former President of 
the National Tax Association. Jle is the author of numerous books 
on finance and economics.) 

Prof. Bullock's ten objections follow : 

1 Alt social progress does not increase the demands 

made upon land. 

(a) Improvements cause better lands to be more in- 
tensively cultivated, thereby contracting the margin, and 
throwing poorer grades of land out of use. Therefore, 
rent is decreased. 

(b) Rent is increased only in large cities. 

2 The second fallacy is that of supposing, in any case, 
that the demand for land can increase indefinitely, and 
can throw most of the product into the hands of land- 
lords. Beyond the point set by the standard of living, 
population and hence this principal demand for land 
will not increase. It can never increase beyond the point 
set by the claims of capital, and by the desire of laborers 
to maintain their standard of living. Nothing can be more 
incorrect than the theory that rents paid to landowners 
are a necessary cause of poverty, attending all social 

3 On financial grounds, which cannot be enlarged 
upon here, any single tax is highly objectionable, and is 
condemned by all authorities. (E.g., Bastable, Plehn, Ely, 
and Seligman.) 

4 There is no such thing as "natural rights" of society 
to land. Landownership is justified because of social 

5 Economic rent cannot be called unearned, since, in 
one sense, it accrues mainly to people who incur the risks 
of investing in land, and cannot be secured without exer- 
cise of foresight. Investors should at least be guaranteed 
their losses on capital invested in improvements. 

6 As a revenue measure, the single tax would often 
prove a disappointment. In England, the rents of agri- 
cultural lands have steadily fallen. 

7 There are other unearned incomes besides those 
secured from some pieces of land. They should be taxed 

8 As a simple matter of fact, all those persons who 

have the good fortune to be favorably affected by each 
actual turn of social development are likely to receive 
unearned incomes. It is just to tax them all; but not to 
tax them away. 

9 In the United States, any unearned increment is 
likely to be distributed quite widely, because landowner- 
ship is widely extended. Too many people would suffer 
by the tax. 

ID -Confiscating the value of land without compensat- 
ing present owners does not appeal as just to the 
conscience of the average American. The present owners 

have invested in land in good faith. 
* * * 

My answers follow : 


(a) It is untrue that if better land were more intensively 

cultivated rents would therefore fall. The rents of the more 
productive lands would rise tremendously because of the 
increased demand for that type of land. Statistically, this is 
borne out by facts. Rents have risen sky-high on such super- 
productive sites. 

(b) The concession is amazing. First it is claimed that in- 
tensive cultivation decreases rent, then it is asserted that 
"rent is increased only in large cities". Where is production 
intensified the greatest if not in large cities ? 


Bullock here claims that people's demands for land will 
never be much more extensive than they are to-day. He feels 
that our desires are limited. No greater fallacy could be 
uttered than this attempted destruction of the second 
Georgeist axiom. "Man does not live by bread alone." He 
may, and does, want cake, both of the physical and spiritual 
variety. Man's demands always increase, all things being 
equal. History proves this from time immemorial. 

Secondly, the professor feels that capital can set the 
limits of men's desires. This is a cousin to the "wages-fund" 
doctrine, which looks upon capital as the source of wages. 
Men will not be bound by any current standard of living, 
or the amount of capital in a country. If that were so, we 
would still be living in caves; if that were so, labor would 
not produce any more capital than has ever been produced ! 

Thirdly, increase in population is not the only reason for 
increased demand for land. Satisfaction of primary desires 
leads to satisfaction of still higher ones, which in turn leads 
to a greater valuation of the land in use, the source of the 
increased production. 


We cannot answer this objection here, since no reasoning 
is offered save an invocation to authority. We shall therefore 
examine it when we criticize Ely and Seligman jointly in 
the next article. 


Even if the author challenges the "natural rights" theory 

July August, 1941 



of ownership of land by the community, this still does not 
justify private ownership because of "social utility" an 
ambiguous term, which may be used to justify slavery, 
robbery, prostitution, and practically everything else under 
the sun. If not because of a "natural right," then on ethical 
and moral grounds (which Bullock, does not attempt to 
eschew) all men in common must own the earth. Private 
property in land results in nothing but inequality, injustice, 
poverty and bloodshed. 


i have already refuted this objection in the third article 
of this series. Nevertheless, I shall repeat that since the 
investors had no right to the ownership of land they have 
no right to any proceeds in connection therewith ; and the 
community is not concerned with the speculative enterprises 
and "losses" of the "owners" of the universe. 

Bullock is evidently confused when he speaks of guaran- 
teeing "losses on capital invested in improvements." In a 
Geurgeisl society the community will not take over the 
improvements, but only the land. 


riven if the single tax would be financially inadequate, it 
would still replace certain havoc-producing taxes of today, 
it would result in what is really the prime benefit of the 
proposal : llie sweeping away of all restrictions to the use of 
land, the "ownership" of which is a bar to production. The 
taxation of land is not merely a fiscal measure; it is a 
thoroughgoing social proposal. Nevertheless, it is not reason- 
aole to aver that the single tax would be a fiscal failure. As 
ine community grows, so grow its needs, so grows the 
demand for land, and so grows the rent, which would result 
in greater revenue under the Georgeist plan. 

Why English agricultural land is singled out is indeed 
puzzling. Naturally some rents will fall, and some will rise. 
But a rise usually occurs in the great cities, where the 
pampered parasites of society drain the life-blood of the 
laborers and the capitalists alike. 


This objection has been frequently answered. We feel 
that all other monopolies will tend to disappear when the 
land monopoly is destroyed, since they all directly or in- 
directly spring from land monopoly. However, it is no 
argument against the taxation of land values to say that 
there are other monopolies. It is an admission of the evil 
in the mother of all monopoly. As a matter of fact, the 
Georgeist philosophy means much more than the taxation 
of land. It is a sweeping condemnation of all that is unjust 
in society. 


Here the author, in his attempt to avoid "land socialism," 
falls, astonishingly enough, into the trap of complete social- 
ism ! All favorable developments should be taxed he says 

(albeit not taxed away, he hastily adds), which means that 
all profits would be discouraged, and personal, as well as 
real, property taxed. Needless to say, Georgeists do not 
believe in taxing the fruits of human labor. 


The fact that there are more landlords in the United 
States than elsewhere in the world should cause about as 
much jubilation as would the statement that there are more 
kidnapers in this country than anywhere else in the world, 
and that therefore we should not punish the kidnapers, 
because more of them would suffer. If landlordism is an 
evil, the multiplicity of its members can hardly be a reason 
for permitting it to live. 


That which cannot be originally owned cannot be owned 
after a series of transactions. The passiveness of the people 
to robbery of any kind, especially when in their ignorance 
and weakness they have been unable to combat it, cannot 
be construed as a waiver of their rights, either in law or in 

Our Australian Letter 

From A. G. HUIE 

l\Ve welcome Mr. A. G. Huie as our new Special Uorresponaent 
for Australia. Since the death of Percy R. Meggy, of Sydney, in 
'935, LAND AND FREEDOM has up to now been without an Australian 
Correspondent. Mr. Huie is Secretary of the Henry George League 
of New South Wales and Editor of their organ, The Standard. 
Readers will recall previous articles by him in LAND AND FREEDOM. 
One of the earliest and foremost leaders in the Georgeist cause in 
Australia, Mr. Huie is well qualified to keep us mtormea on the 
current economic scene in that country. We look torwara 10 lur- 
ther Australian letters from Mr. Huie, of which we present the 
first herewith. Eo.J 

UR system of electing members to the House of Repre- 
sentatives and the Senate is defective. Like yours in 
the United States it fails to provide for freedom at the ballot 
box and for effective representation in the legislature. 

For the House of Representatives it is preferential voting, 
that is, the elector numbers the candidates in the order of 
his choice. If the leading candidate fails to secure an abso- 
lute majority of the votes recorded, the ballot papers of the 
lowest candidate are taken and allotted among the others on 
the second preference. If necessary, this process is continued 
until only two candidates remain and the man with a major- 
ity is declared elected. Of course it is right that where one 
man has to be elected he should have the support of a major- 
ity of the electors. 

At the same time a group of adjoining electorates may 
return members of the same party although there is a very 
substantial body of public opinion unrepresented. For ex- 
ample, South Australia sends six members to the House of 



July August, 1941 

Representatives. The Labor Party polled over 42 per cent 
of the votes but only elected one member. 

For the Senate we have a most extraordinary method of 
counting the ballot papers. The electors number all the 
candidates. Usually three are elected for a State for six 
years, sometimes four if a Senator of the other group has 
died and his position was temporarily filled. When all the 
ballot papers are counted according to the first preference, 
the lowest is counted out and the process is continued until 
only two remain. The leading man is then declared elected. 

The ballot papers are then put back to the original num- 
ber one position. Then the ballot papers of the man elected 
are counted on the second preference to the other candidates. 
The elimination process is then gone through again, and so 
the second man is elected. This plan is repeated until the 
number to be elected is complete. The system is designed to 
give the party in a majority in a State a monopoly of repre- 

At the last Federal Election the United Australia Party 
United Country Party elected sixteen Senators and the 
Labor Party three Senators. It had a majority in only one 
State. Throughout Australia the U.A.P. U.C.P. the 
Conservative Government Party had just over 50 per cent 
of the votes in its favor and elected 84.21 per cent of the 

The Henry George or Single Tax movement in Australia 
strongly supports Proportional Representation. It objects to 
the two main political factions monopolizing representation. 
We hold that electors should vote according to the merits of 
the men offering their services. They should be required to 
think, even as to the respective merits of the candidates of 
the party they favor, instead of recording a blind party vote. 

Electoral reform for municipal and shire elections is long 
overdue. The voting system to elect these councils, except 
the City of Sydney, which uses the Senate system, is the 
most primitive in use in New South Wales. The electors 
vote by making crosses opposite the names of the candidates 
they favor. There is one exception the country City of 
Armidale has Proportional Representation. 

It is quite a common thing for the aldermen for a ward, 
and sometimes for a whole municipality, to be elected on 
minority votes of the electors. In this way men may control 
a council when the electors voted to keep them out of it. 
We want proportional representation for all Council elec- 

The present position is that the local people can adopt 
Proportional Representation for their elections, but the 
option is in an unworkable form. Only Armidale has P.R. 
after 22 years. In fact, through the widening of the local 
franchise, it could not adopt it now. Our view is that propor- 
tional representation should be adopted straightout for all 
Council elections. The least that should be done is to make 
the option workable. 


We have just had elections for the New South Wales 
State Legislative Assembly. The U.A.P. U.C.P. (Con- 
servative) had been in office for nine years a record term. 
They were badly defeated; the A.L.P. (Labor Party) se- 
cured a substantial majority and a new Government has 
been sworn in under the leadership of Mr. W. J. McKell. 

We were specially interested in these elections as four 
candidates were put forward by the New Social Order Par- 
ty. It had a straight out Henry George program. They did 
good work of an educational character but were unsuccess- 
ful at the ballot box. It seems plain that both parties are 
inclined to make common cause against Independents, espe- 
cially if they have a radical policy. 

Mr. E. J. Craigie, who was a member of the South Aus- 
tralian House of Assembly for a number of years, was re- 
cently defeated in that way. The party nominees, who hated 
each other, advised their supporters to give the second pref- 
erence to the other party nominee and to put the Indepen- 
dent candidate last. Mr. Craigie was leading on the first count 
and the Labor nominee was lowest. The bulk of his ballot 
papers, when he was counted out, went to the Conservative 
candidate, so Mr. Craigie was defeated.* (Readers will recall 
that Mr. Craigie attended the International Conference in 
New York in 1939 and was elected President of the Inter- 
national Union.) 

We welcome the return of the Labor Party to power in 
New South Wales. The late Government proved extremely 
reactionary from our point of view. We could not get them 
to do anything. It was first led by Mr. Stevens, who pro- 
fessed to be a single taxer. His father was understood to 
be an ardent Henry George man. Not only did he do nothing ; 
but he put a Mr. Spooner in the key position from our point 
of view and he proved a hopeless reactionary a vested in- 
terests man. 


There are primarily three steps in advance which are over- 
due and justified by the state of public opinion in New South 
Wales. They are : government support of the Valuation De- 
partment, revision of assessment methods, and rating re- 
form for water supply. 

Government Support of the Valuations Department. In 
1916 a Valuation of Land Act was passed into law. Previous- 
ly, the Local Governing bodies made their own valuations. 
This proved unsatisfac:ory as local influences intervened to 
prejudice 'V.e valuations The idea of the new Act was to 
provide valuations of land, etc., for all public purposes by 
an independent authority. Since that time no government 
has given the Valuation Department sufficient support to 
enable it to complete its work. Mr. Spooner was very hostile 
to it and did all he could to hamper it. The Department, 

*See Mr. Craigie's letter in the Correspondence section of this 
issue. ED. 

July August, 1941 



however, in spite of its disabilities, has done very good work. 
It was a Labor Government that passed the Act in 1916 and 
we want the new Labor Government to give the Valuation 
Department adequate support. 

Revision of Assessment Methods. The N. S. W. system 
is defective in one important respect. Its purpose is to assess 
the selling value. We pointed this out when the bill was un- 
der consideration in 1915, before it was passed. We urged 
that a tax upon the value of land did not affect the value, it 
enabled the State or the local Council to share the economic 
rent with the owner. Assessing selling values, however, has 
been the plan hitherto adopted in Australia. 

This defect is avoided in the very interesting constitution- 
al amendment framed for the State of New York, published 
by LAND AND FREEDOM. Selling value is rightly the value 
apart from improvements in or on the land and assuming 
that no rate or tax is imposed upon it. Where a rate or tax 
is imposed the owner then shares the economic rent with 
the taxing authority. He can only sell his equity in the land 
and the selling price is reduced in proportion. 

Valuing according to the selling price sets up a variable 
and uncertain basis of taxation. That necessitates a higher 
rate of tax to get necessary revenue. We want to get our 
new Government to realize this and amend the Act accord- 
ingly. As long as the rate of tax is small it does not matter 
very much. But raising substantial revenues from land 
values would produce an impossible position. Taking the 
whole of the economic rent for the use of the people would 
mean that land would have no selling price, but its value 
would probably be greater than ever on account of acceler- 
ated social and industrial progress. 

Rating Reform for Water Supply. Our rating system 
used by our Councils throughout the State, from the City 
of Sydney to the remotest center, except in the sparsely 
settled Western Division, is on unimproved land values all 
improvements are exempt. In the Sydney and Newcastle 
areas there are Water and Sewerage Boards. They rate on 
the old rental value basis. For 25 years we have sought to 
get these rates also imposed on a land value basis. 

By means of public meetings, petitions to Parliament, 
letters to the press, deputations to Premiers and Ministers, 
we have demonstrated that the public is in favor of it. 
Vested interests in land speculation and property interests 
in the City of Sydney have hitherto prevailed. The "City" 
makes its own valuations, the suburbs are under the Valuer 
General. The Valuer General should have taken over the 
work in the City long ago. 

We hope that the new Minister will be more favor- 
able than his predecessors. If we could only get a vote of 
the ratepayers there would be no doubt as to the result. In 
fact these rates would have been on land values years ago 
if the rate-payers had had the power to decide the issue. 

Our British Letter 


N April 7 the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced 
his Budget, showing an estimated expenditure of 4,207 
millions, of which 3,500 millions is expenditure under votes 
of credit for carrying on the war. These figures do not in- 
clude the value of supplies from the United States under 
the Lease-Lend Act, nor for payments under existing orders 
in your country. The amount to be raised in taxation is 
1,786 millions, leaving a balance of 2,421 millions to be 
met by the creation of debt. 

A remarkable feature of this Budget is that there are no 
new taxes. Commodities are evidently taxed enough. There 
is an increase in the Income Tax and this is made heavier 
still by reductions in the allowances formerly made on ac- 
count of "personal" income and "earned" income. These 
reductions of allowances will hit the lower incomes heavily. 
This one alteration will make over two million more people 
liable to income tax, including those whose incomes are of 
the 45 shillings a week level. Sir Kingsley Wood boasts of 
this as a "first class revolution in our fiscal system deduct- 
ing Income Tax from salaries and wages. Four million 
taxpayers now have tax deducted from pay week by week 
or month by month." 

An entirely new departure is what The Times calls "this 
infiltration of Mr. Keynes' ideas into the financial front." 
This is the provision that any extra tax paid because of the 
reduction in personal allowances and earned income allow- 
ances will be credited to the taxpayer in the Post Office 
Savings Bank after the war, 65 being the maximum allow- 
ance. This is a compulsory savings scheme designed to re- 
duce spendings and thus help to close the inflationary "gap." 
The Times says: "The real menace is the gap between rev- 
enue at home and expenditure at home ; and it would be 
quite misleading to enlarge the gap by taking account of ex- 
penditure abroad, more especially since the passage of the 
Lease-Lend Act in the United States. The size of the gap 
is therefore put at about 500,000,000." The Budgetary 
task is therefore said to be that of controlling and limiting 
any upward tendency of prices due to the pressure of pur- 
chasing power on available supplies. Huge spendings by the 
Government have generated a corresponding amount of 
spending power in the hands of the public. If all of this 
were used to purchase goods in the shops it would destroy 
the precautions against inflation, that standing menace of 
Governments in wartime. It is therefore held necessary to 
withhold a substantial part of surplus purchasing power 
through controls and through the instrument of taxation, to 
avoid the vicious spiral of rising costs (wages) and rising 
prices. The total war economy now includes rationing of 
food and clothing, price control, raw materials control. 
Price of Goods Act, direction of labor, requisitioning of 



July August, 194! 

factories and warehouses, Limitation of Supplies Orders 
and the concentration of industry. And now compulsory 
savings. But in all this there is no control of land specula- 
tion ; no taxation of land values. 

Sir Kingsley Wood also rejoiced at the low rate of inter- 
est on Government borrowings. This will mean, he said, that 
post-war expansion and recovery would start with a lighter 
interest burden. "In rebuilding our cities after the war the 
maintenance of a low rate of interest will do much to ease 
the financial problem." Here we see another attempt to keep 
wages and interest at a lower level than if uncontrolled and 
left to normal economic influences. Meanwhile, land is out- 
side this controlled sphere, and rent will rise as wages and 
interest decline. Those who will continue to seek high re- 
turns will simply invest in land, and there is ample evidence, 
referred to later, that this is what is happening. A tax on 
the value of land would be effective control against specu- 
lation, at the same time increasing those "available supplies" 
to offset increasing spending powers. But the only mention 
of such a tax in the Budget was that it was impracticable in 
war-time, "apart from other considerations." This is pretty 
thin as an excuse, in view of the ease with which control 
schemes of all kinds can be operated. No doubt the "other 
considerations" weigh most with the Chancellor, who will 
not fail to consider the claims of the vested interest in land 

Meanwhile, as stated, "The Price of Land is Soaring," 
to quote the headline in the London Evening Standard of 
April 22. Prices of land, this paper says, are almost double 
pre-war prices. Good farm land worth 30 an acre before 
the war, is now selling at 80 per acre. In a number of cases 
land has realized 100 to 150 an acre. This land, of course, 
is not assessed for local taxation purposes at any value at 
all. One authority states there is hardly any land left for 
sale. "The most popular investments are rich dairy farms 
of between ISO and 500 acres. The large joint stock banks 
and insurance companies have been very active in these 
land purchases. People feel that land values are more likely 
to remain constant than those of movable commodities. Land 
is least susceptible to bombing." 

The pages of Land & Liberty for April and May continue 
to give many more instances beside the above of the un- 
checked ramp in land. Public opinion is far in advance of 
the Government on this question. The Commissions set up 
on Reconstruction, on the Bombed Sites scandal, etc., prom- 
ise their reports and plans. There are suggestions to fix the 
price of bombed land at its pre-war level ; also that the 
Government or the local authorities should buy up such land. 
There is a proposal that the City of London should pur- 
chase all the land in its area. All the time there is no doubt 
that the public are ready for bold legislation on Henry 
George lines to end the "racket" not only in bombed sites 
but in all valuable land, town and country alike. 

Our Canadian Letter 



"PARLIAMENT has been dealing with Canada's record 
-* budget. Expenditures for the next fiscal year are esti- 
mated at $1,768,000,000, and may, of course, go higher. In 
addition, the financing of our own and Great Britain's pur- 
chases in the LTnited States will very probably increase our 
commitments to $2.500,000,000. That is quite a far cry from 
the tempo of $500,000,000 which was the pre-war rate of 
spending of our federal government. 

In -pre-war days, customs, excises, sales tax and income 
.taxes were the main reliance as income sources. Today con- 
sumption taxes, though larger in volume due to more gen- 
eral employment and a larger national income, have not 
been unduly increased, but income taxation is much steeper. 
For war purposes, resort was had to a national defense tax 
of 2% on wages, and it is now proposed to raise this to 5%. 
An excess profits tax was also imposed last year as a war 
measure, and this is being made heavier. A tax on interest 
and dividends payable may be modified due to a protest 
from the Premier of Ontario. Sugar will pay an extra cent 
a pound, a total of 2c, which is in the nature of an extra 
consumption impost, and another whack is taken at cosmet- 
ics and toilet preparations. A tax on purchases of automo- 
biles and buses is also increased in the new budget. All 
classes of imbibers will be hit by new taxes on beer, malt 
and wine as well as on carbonic acid gas used in soft drinks. 

The government is invading the following new fields : 
Inheritance taxes, or succession duties, hitherto the exclu- 
sive domain of the provinces, will yield an estimated $20.- 
000,000 to the federal exchequer. There will be a federal 
tax on gasoline gallonage of 3c a gallon. All types of trans- 
portation tickets will carry a tax of 10%, while a 20% im- 
post will be put on receipts of movie theatres. A tax on race 
track betting is expected to yield $1,000,000. 

Predictions that the sales tax would be increased have 
not come to pass, and the government has evidently devel- 
oped a conscience on this particular consumption tax. The 
sales tax rate of 8% has been left as it is, with this excep- 
tion: that building materials, which have been exempted 
from sales tax for the last few years, are. now made subject 
to the tax. The sales tax is expected to yield $203,500,000. 

There is one item in the expenditures which is reminis- 
cent of the New Deal and that is an item of $35,000,000 
set aside to provide for payments to "stimulate reductions 
in wheat acreage" because the Western wheatgrowers have 
been producing chronic surpluses of this commodity. 

In order to prevent overlapping, the Finance Minister 
has revived a recommendation of the irois Royal Com- 
mission that the provinces should abandon income and cor- 

July August, 1P41 



poration tax fields, only the proposal now is that this should 
be for wartime duration. The provinces have been offered 
a quid pro quo so that their revenues will not suffer, and 
all of them but Ontario have signified some agreement, and 
it is thought that Ontario will climb on the band wagon, too. 

The proposed new levels of income tax are being criticized 
in some quarters because they are not steep enough. The 
combined federal and provincial income taxes in Ontario, 
Prince Edward Island and Quebec permit the married tax- 
payer still to enjoy $85,000. $88,000 and $90,000 respectively 
of his $500,000 income, whereas the $1500 income has to 
pay $75 plus $30 wages tax, leaving $1,395 net. Manitoba 
and British Columbia permit a taxpayer to retain $69,000 
and $47,000 respectively out of a $500,000 income. On the 
other hand. Alberta and Saskatchewan demand virtually 
a capital levy, for the income taxpayer in those two prov- 
inces, after the federal government has its cut, pays $48,000 
more than his $500,000 income in Alberta and $83,400 more 
in Saskatchewan. That is one reason why the wealthy and 
the framers of the Sirois Report want the provinces to 
abandon this field so that there will be uniformity. The feel- 
ing has been voiced in parliament, however, by the Socialist 
and Sorced groups that such sums as those still permitted 
in the highest brackets in most of the provinces are much 
too generous ; and this correspondent agrees. 

Since the signing of the agreement between Canada and 
the United States on the St. Lawrence Seaway, provision 
has been made for the huge Beauharnois power develop- 
ment in Quebec province, now in private hands, to be ex- 
propriated and turned over to the Quebec Hydro Commis- 
sion. Up to the present, practically all of the hydro de- 
velopment in Quebec has been by private interests, in con- 
trast to Ontario where practically all water powers are a 
public monopoly. The private power interests in Quebec had 
their spokesmen in the lower house, and Premier Godbout 
had to use his influence to obtain the passage of the measure. 
He said: "When all other provinces are putting electricity 
under state control, I don't want Quebec to stay behind . . . 
We don't want to antagonize anyone. But we cannot allow 
companies to retard the development of our resources. I 
want Quebec province to move ahead of all the others in 
the after-war period. This provincial hydro has been prom- 
ised by practically all governments and by all government 
leaders." The lower house passed the bill, but some opposi- 
tion is being met in the upper chamber. It is to be expected 
that the action of the U. S. Congress on the seaway scheme, 
will affect not only public ownership of hydro in the United 
States, but also in Quebec. 

FREE COPY of LAND AND- FREEDOM is an invitation 
to become a subscriber. 

Note to Readers 

WE are desirous of securing copies of the May-June 1911 
and September-October 1912 issues of LAND AND 
May- June 1911 issue was a Special Number for Vancouver, 
and the September-October 1912 issue was a Special Number 
for New Zealand. If any of our readers have copies of these 
numbers, or one of them, and would be willing to part with 
same, please communicate with us, quoting the prices desired. 

* * * 

We have available for free distribution extra copies of 
LAND AND FREEDOM for the years 1934 to 1939. The issues 
for those six years contain innumerable articles of enduring 
value, and should be circulated widely. They are especially 
excellent for introducing new people to the philosophy of 
Henry George. Copies of these issues, in the quantity desired, 
will be sent upon request. For each copy, enclose a 2c stamp 
for postage. In the following list, one article from each issue 
has been selected, to give some idea of the range of subjects 
covered, and to help you make a selection : 
Mnr.-Apr. 10.14 Harry Weinberger at the N. R. A. Hearings 
May-June 1934 Albert Einstein on Henry George 
(nly-Atig. 1934 Death of Oscar H. Geiger 
Sept. -Oct. 1934 Analysis of New York Slums 
Xov.-Der. 1934 Comparison of Henry Ford and Henry George, by 

C. O'C. Hennessy 

.Ian. -Feb. i935~-Complete Single Tax Questionnaire, by H. J. Foley 1935 Gold Clause Cases, by R. V. McNally 
May-June 1935 Henry George School Progress 
Sept. -Oct. 1035 Statement on the Single Tax, by Henry George 
Xo\.-Dec. 193? Statement on the Single Tax. by Henry George 


Jan. -Feb. 1936 Figures on Land Values, by G. H. Duncan 
Mar. -Apr. 1936 Curiosities of Taxation, by J. D. Miller 
May-June 1 936 Economic Aspects of Land Titles, by W. Fairchild 
July-Aug. 1936 The California Campaign, by J. H. Ralston 
Sept. -Oct. 1936 International Henry George Conference at London 
Xov.-Dec. 1936 The Fight of Mayor McNair of Pittsburgh 
Jan.-Feb. 1937 Social Credit Summarized, by David ChodorOv 
Mar.-Apr. 1937 The Romance of New York Real Estate, by J. D. 


May-June 1937 The Assessment of Land, by Lawson Purdy 
July-Aug. 1937 Tenancy in the Philippines, by Will Lissner 
Sept.-Oct. 1937 The Difficulties of Democracy, by J. D. Miller 
Noy.-Dec. 1937 Henry George and Princeton University 
Jan.-Feb. 1938 Henry George the Economist, by Prof. B. Mitchell 
Mar.-Apr. 1938 The Story of Joseph II of Austria 
May-June 1938 'Where Marx Agrees with George, by Bolton Hall 
July-Aug. 1938 Henry George, Jr.'s Campaign, by J. H. Newman 
Sept.-Oct. 1938 A World Survey of the Land Question, by M. 


Xov.-Dec. 1938 Federal Laws on Land Tax, by B. W. Burger 
Jan.-Feb. 1939 Public Education as a Course of Social Action, by 

Will Lissner 
Mar.-Apr. 1939 Public Education as a Course of Social Action, by 

Will Lissner (continued) 

May-June 1939 In Memoriam Joseph Dana Miller 
Sept.-Oct. 1939 Centenary of Henry George 
Nov. -Dec. 1939 The Father McGlynn Case 



July August, 194! 

Signs of Progress 


Henry George Foundation of America 

The Single Taxers of Chicago, under the able leadership 
of Chairman Clayton J. Ewing, are busy with plans and 
preparations for the Sixteenth Annual Henry George Con- 
gress which is to assemble at the Hotel LaSalle Monday, 
Tuesday and Wednesday, September 29 and 30 and October 
1. A strong program is being prepared and, as it is now 
seven years since the Henry George Congress has gone to 
the Middle West, members and friends in that section are 
exhibiting a special interest in this year's gathering. 

Facing the tremendous social and economic problems of 
the present world crisis, as well as those which may arise 
after the war, the program this year will feature an inter- 
pretation by prominent speakers of the Georgeist attitude 
towards war and its causes and a discussion of the part 
which the Henry George movement may and should play 
in the effort to reconstruct our social and industrial system 
on sound economic principles. 

"The Georgeist Task in a War-Torn World" will be the 
topic to be presented by Sidney J. Abelson, of New York 
City, Chairman of the newly organized American Alliance 
to Advance Freedom. Among other well-known speakers 
who will address the Congress are: Col. Victor A. Rule, 
author of the book, "Chain the War God" ; Hon. Peter Witt, 
Cleveland, Ohio; Benjamin W. Burger, New York City; 
Gilbert M. Tucker, Albany, N. Y. ; Charles H. Ingersoll, 
President of the Manhattan Single Tax Club; Horace J. 
Haase, Director of the School of Democracy, New York 
City; Robert Clancy, Associate Editor of LAND AND 
FREEDOM, New York City; former Congressman Charles 
R. Eckert, of Beaver, Pa. ; Dr. Mark Millikin, Member of 
City Council, Hamilton, Ohio ; Mrs. Anna George deMille. 
New York City; John Lawrence Monroe, representing the 
Henry George School of Social Science, of Chicago ; Mrs. 
Helena Mitchell McEvoy, Washington, D. C. ; John B. 
McGauran, Denver, Colorado ; E. S. Woodward, of Van- 
couver, British Columbia ; Henry H. Hardinge and J. 
Edward Jones, of Chicago ; Harold S. Buttenheim, Editor, 
The American City, New York City ; Hon. George E. Evans, 
of Pittsburgh, President of the Henry George Foundation; 
Mrs. Lyrl Clark Van Hyning, Chicago. 

The usual annual banquet of the Henry George Foun- 
dation will be held on Wednesday evening, October 1, as 
the closing feature of the convention, and a special evening 
program of dramatic entertainment is being planned under 
the leadership of Mrs. Clayton J. Ewing with the cooper- 
ation of young Single Taxers of Chicago. 

A printed invitation with full program details will be 
mailed to members and friends of the Foundation during the 
month of August, and a representative attendance from all 
sections of the country is anticipated. Ample time is being 
set aside on this year's program for open forum discussions 
of some of the more important questions which are occupy- 
ing the minds of prominent Georgeists, both theoretical and 
practical, dealing with economic, legislative and political 
aspects of the movement to advance the Georgeist phi- 

Robert Schalkenbach Foundation 


The big news this month is the publication, by the Foun- 
dation, of a Guide for Teaching the Principles of Political 
Economy, based on the text of "Progress and Poverty," by 
Henry George. This Guide, which was prepared by one of 
our trustees, is designed expressly for use in college class- 
rooms. It divides the book into fifteen lessons, with ques- 
tions and answers, and assigns approximately forty pages 
of reading for each. Dr. John Dewey, famous educator 
and philosopher, has written a Foreword to the Guide, the 
full text of which appears elsewhere in this issue. 

Besides the large universities with which we are all 
familiar, there are about three thousand small colleges in 
the United States, teaching economics. An announcement 
of the Guide sent to a thousand, as a test, brought requests 
for copies from eighty-three professors. Practically all 
branches of the economics departments are represented in 
these returns. Three college presidents wrote personally for 
the publication. 

One of the encouraging things about our work has been 
the increased use of "Progress and Poverty" as a college 
text, and we confidently believe the new Guide will help us 
tremendously to further cultivate this important field. 

Winston Churchill's speeches on the land question, now 
available in pamphlet form (ten cents), are causing con- 
siderable comment, and some speculation as to whether the 
Prime Minister can be expected to put his knowledge of 
land value taxation to practical use when the war is over. I 
am told that the late John Paul, beloved English Georgeist, 
was Mr. Churchill's mentor in his early parliamentary clays, 
and responsible to a large degree for bringing the land 
question, and its importance, to his attention at that time. 

We placed our order last week for 17,000 more copies 
of books by Henry George. This includes 10,000 "Progress 
and Poverty," and smaller editions of "Protection or Free 

July August, 1941 



Trade," "The Science of Political Economy," and "The 
Land Question." When these books are printed, they will 
bring the total number of George's books published by the 
Foundation to 104,950 copies. 

You have probably been reading about Colonel Josiah C. 
Wedgwood, British Georgeist, in this country on a lecture 
tour. The daily press has devoted considerable space to a 
chronicle of his progress from platform to platform, along 
the Eastern seaboard. It is appropriate, then, to announce 
at this time, "Forever Freedom," published in England and 
now available in this country, the work of Colonel Wedg- 
wood and our own American author, Allan Nevins. 

"Forever Freedom" (twenty-five cents a copy), is an 
anthology in prose and verse from England and America. 
It is well seasoned with selections from Henry George, and is 
rich with the words of men whose greatness we learned 
about in childhood days. Old friends like Benjamin Frank- 
lin, George Washington and Patrick Henry are represented, 
as well as the inspiring words of some unfamiliar writers 
such as Leiio and Dennisthorpe. The speaker who would 
stock his verbal larder with choice sentences, as well as the 
reader who desires only to share the fruits of these brilliant 
minds, will greet "Forever Freedom" as a book of enduring 

Henry George School of Social Science 

The First Annual Convention of the School was held at 
the New York City headquarters, July 9, 10 and 11. Repre- 
sentatives from the various extensions and out-of-town 
visitors attended, as well as many New York Georgeists. 
There were over 200 registered delegates, besides many un- 
registered visitors. 

The first day (Wednesday, July 9) was given to welcom- 
ing the delegates, familiarizing them with the School, and 
allowing them to become acquainted with one another. Anna 
George de Mille, Otto K. Dorn and Frank Chodorov ad- 
dressed the delegates. 

The morning session of the second day (Thursday, July 
10) was taken up with panel discussions on various theo- 
retical topics, including "George and Cooperatives," by John 
T. Tetley, "Will There Be Enough Rent," by R. M. Connor, 
"Housing," by David Targ, and "The Value of a Teacher," 
by Jacob Schwartzman. In the afternoon, different branches 
of the School's work were discussed. Teresa McCarthy 
spoke on the relation of extensions with headquarters; 
Gaston Haxo discussed the work in the correspondence 
course division ; Herbert von Henningsen told of the Lecture 
Forums; and Alfred M. Gants spoke on ways to get pub- 
licity for the School, presenting an interesting advertising 
program. The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation was also 
represented at this session by V. G. Peterson. At the evening 
session, John Lawrence Monroe of Chicago gave an inter- 

esting account of the Henry George movement before the 
advent of the School, stressing the failure of political move- 
ments without a background of mass enlightenment and 
intelligent leadership. M. B. Thomson presented an enact- 
ment of a typical classroom scene, himself in the role of in- 
structor, and various assistants throughout the audience 
acting as students. Mr. Thomson's demonstration was enter- 
taining as well as instructive. 

The morning and afternoon sessions of the third day 
(Friday, July 11) were devoted to further discussions of 
the School's problems and activities, including classroom 
techniques, the speakers' bureau, extension activities, and 
other educational problems. Raymond V. McNally delivered 
a talk on "Whom Can We Teach?" which evoked much 
debate, A visitor who took part in the discussions was M. E. 
Kriegel, one of Oscar H. Geiger's original students, and now 
a lecturer, radio commentator and editor. 

In the evening the last session of the confcrcnce-Hon. 
Lawson Purdy and Col. the Right Hon. Josiah Wedgwood 
addressed the group. Lawson Purdy delivered an interesting 
impromptu talk on some progressive achievements made 
during the past half century. He expressed the belief that 
the Georgeist doctrine should be taught in all its purity, but 
added that at the same time Georgeists ought to strive for 
reforms worth attaining on their own merit, without bring- 
ing the Georgeist philosophy or the name of Henry George 
into them. 

Col. Wedgwood, Member of the British Parliament, now 
in the United States on a speaking tour, addressed the group 
on the principles of freedom for which Georgeists are 
struggling. His talk was broadcast over Station WQXR. 
Mr. Wedgwood related his experiences in South Africa 
where, after the Boer War, he was in charge of a town. 
There was a fringe of common land around the town which 
Wedgwood allowed the veterans of the war to use. They 
worked upon it and built their own homes. In consequence, 
wages throughout the whole town rose to the full product 
of each laborer's toil illustrating the effect of free land on 
wages. More of Col. Wedgwood's adventures may be found 
in his book, "Essays and Adventures of a Labor M. P." Col. 
Wedgwood is also co-author of the new anthology, "For- 
ever Freedom." 

At the conclusion of the last session, William Newcomb 
presented his recently completed slide film, "The Story of 
the Savannah," based upon Henry George's eloquent des- 
cription of the growth of a city, in "Progress and Poverty." 
M. B. Thomson acted as narrator. 

Thus concluded the First Annual School Convention. It 
has helped to foster fellowship among the various workers 
and friends of the School in New York and out of town. 
It is hoped that there will be more of these conferences in 
the future. 



July August, 1941 

Henry George Committee 
for Legislative Action 


Over a thousand copies of "A Legislative Framework for 
the Philosophy of Henry George" have been sent to various 
legislators and public officials throughout the country. Many 
acknowledgments and expressions of interest have already 
been received from federal, state and local authorities. 
William Hildebrand, Jr., Executive Clerk for the State of 
New Jersey, has requested ten more copies of the Frame- 
work. Three acknowledgments have come from the U. S. 
Treasury Department, two from Acting Secretaries John 
L. Sullivan and Herbert E. Gaston, and one from the Legis- 
lative Counsel, Thomas N. Tarleau. Mr. Sullivan wrote to 
the Committee as follows: 

"This will acknowledge receipt of the copy of your pam- 
phlet . . . which outlines constitutional amendments and ena- 
bling legislation to permit the taking through taxation of the 
full annual value of all land, exclusive of improvements. 

"It is the purpose of the Treasury to cooperate with the 
Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Repre- 
sentatives in the formulation of a tax program which will 
be borne equitably by all citizens. 

"Permit me to thank you and the members of your organ- 
ization for their recommendations and to assure you that 
they will receive careful consideration in our current study 
of tax revision." 

Walter Fairchild, Counsel for the Committee, has replied 
to Mr. Sullivan as follows: "Our advocacy of a uniform 
land value tax is based upon the proposition which we con- 
sider to be an economic fact, that the taking of land value 
in taxation is the only tax which in its effect bears equally 
upon all citizens. The enclosed statement which follows the 
language used by Henry George deals with this point and 
shows the basis for the truth of this proposition. We believe 
that equity must be based upon equality." (The statement 
referred to was taken from "Progress and Poverty," Book 
VIII, Chapter 3, wherein Henry George tries a land value 
tax by the canon that a tax should bear equally.) 

Herbert E. Gaston wrote as follows: "President Roose- 
velt has referred to this Department for consideration the 
copy of your pamphlet. . . The Treasury Department always 
appreciates the advice and suggestions of organizations de- 
voted to the study of tax matters. Permit me to thank you 
on behalf of the President and myself for submitting the 
pamphlet. I am sure that it will prove very helpful in our 
current study of the tax structure." 

Mr. Charles A. Kee introduced the Legislative Frame- 
work at a meeting of the Resolutions Committee of Council 
77 of the Civil Service Forum, on May 13. Resolutions 

adopted by the Forum are recommended to the Annual 
Convention of the State Association of Civil Service Em- 
ployees. Mr. Kee, a member of the Committee, reports as 
follows : 

"At this meeting there were four resolutions for the Com- 
mittee of twenty-six to consider, and after these had been 
disposed of in quick succession, I introduced the Legislative 
Framework. The immediate reaction to such a far-reaching 
resolution was to sidetrack it as not within the realm of the 
orgnization. Even the labels 'red' and 'communistic' were 
applied by a few, and my fellow Forum member, Frank 
Berman, bore the brunt of this. However, we persevered for 
more than a half-hour in defense of the single tax philoso- 
phy. As the hour grew late, the members asked that they be 
given a chance to study the bill, and so discussion was post- 
poned until the next meeting, May 20. 

"A't the May 20 meeting, our resolution was the first item 
of business, and the result of a week's study by the members 
amazed such an old campaigner as Frank Berman by the 
intelligence displayed by both our opponents and supporters 
for in the short interval, we had gained both ! 

"An interesting sidelight of the discussion was the 
attention paid to the provision in the State Constitution that 
the land shall forever remain 'allodial.' The members, hav- 
ing a great reverence for the Founding Fathers, were sold on 
the idea that the Fathers never meant to have private owner- 
ship of land for speculative purposes. 

"After more than an hour's discussion, a vote was called 
for. Feeling that we had had fair success in exposing the 
Committee to the philosophy contained in the Framework, 
and feeling also that the resolution would stand a better 
chance of being passed next year, after more careful study, 
I withdrew the resolution so that it could be re-introduced 
at the next meeting. In the interim, Frank Berman and I 
intend to carry on a propaganda campaign so that the mem- 
bers will be better informed." 

Mr. Hugh Wilson, of the Committee on Legislation, Local 
23 of the Oil Workers International Union, wrote to the 
Henry George Committee for Legislative Action: "I am in 
favor of the proposed Committee. And I am in favor of 
affiliation with other reform groups. If these organizations 
then affiliate or back one of the major political parties or a 
strong competent progressive third party, so much the better. 
Can you tell me what the general opinion and prospect of 
such action is among liberals ?" 

Mr. Fairchild's reply to Mr. Wilson helps to clarify the 
functions of the Committee: "It is the purpose of the Henry 
George Committee for Legislative Action to encourage the 
introduction and passage of legislation placing the tax 
burden on the site value of land exclusive of improvements 
and removing taxation from labor products of all kinds. It 
is not the policy of the Committee to join in political party 

July August, 1941 



action. We will, however, be glad to furnish our literature 
and argument to all parties." 

Mr. Jim Busey of Valdez, Alaska, hopes to make use of 
the legislation contained in the Framework, in Alaska. He 
writes as follows : "To carry through a Georgeist program 
in Alaska, we must have statehood. Territory is at present 
run under Organic Laws set by U. S. Congress and practi- 
cally immune to change. Alaska is on the threshold of slate- 
hood. A statehood bill calling for a referendum passed the 
House in the last legislative session, but was tabled ir. the 
Senate. If we can have a definite legislative framework 
ready, we might be able to accomplish something. We have 
contacts which can put such material before the legislature. 
Could you draw up the sections of a new State Constitution 
which would bear on taxation ?" 

The following is Mr. Fairchild's reply: "I do not feel 
competent to draft constitutional or legislative enactments 
suitable for Alaska. If your Committee will arrange for local 
counsel to prepare a draft which will cover the local situ- 
ation, we will be glad to go over it and give the benefit of 
our suggestions as to the application of the land value tax 

This invitation is extended to all who wish to introduce 
land value tax bills in local legislatures. The Legis- 
lative Framework contains a model amendment for the 
United States Constitution, with necessary enabling legis- 
lation, and also a similar model amendment and enabling 
legislation for the State of New York. These may be used 
as guides in drafting other state and local amendments, and 
the Committee would be glad to examine them and offer 
suggestions. It might be added that the Committee has placed 
a copy of the Legislative Framework in the hands of every 
member of the New Jersey Senate and House of Assembly, 
where the Sanford Bill, Assembly No. 233, has been intro- 
duced as a home-rule measure for putting the Georgeist plan 
into effect in New Jersey municipalities. Messrs. Charles H. 
Ingersoll, John Allen, and Harry Haase constitute the spear- 
head of our forces in the New Jersey campaign. 

Any inquiries concerning the Henry George Committee 
for Legislative Action or the Legislative Framework for the 
Philosophy of Henry George should be addressed to the 
Central Committee, care of LAND AND FREEDOM, 150 Nassau 
St., New York, N. Y. 

American Alliance to Advance Freedom 

The expanding activities of the Alliance, now functioning 
almost exclusively in New York, include a plan to organize 
on a national scale, with the ultimate purpose of coordinat- 
ing all Georgeist efforts in the United States. 

With this in view, the Alliance recently accepted invita- 
tions from leading Georgeists in Philadelphia and Boston 
to confer with them on the question of uniting their efforts 
with the Alliance. In both cities the matter is now under 

advisement. Sidney J. Abelson, Chairman, represented the 
Alliance in these conferences. 

Since its formation last January, the Alliance has concen- 
trated its efforts on unifying Georgeists and preparing them 
for bringing the Georgeist message to the public. Enough of 
a nucleus of active workers has been organized to warrant 
inauguration of a campaign directed toward non-Georgeists. 
Plans for the Fall include activities of this nature. 

The American Alliance welcomes inquiries from all 
sources. Pamphlets, handbills and other descriptive literature 
will be mailed without charge to all who inquire. Address 
Elbert E. Josefson, Secretary, American Alliance to Ad- 
vance Freedom, Suite 505, 22 W. 48th St., New York, N. Y. 

Great Britain 

Mr. Douglas J. J. Owen sends us the following news: 
The Henry George movement in all countries will be 
greatly concerned at the total destruction by enemy action 
on May 10th of the offices at Knightrider Street, London, 
which were the headquarters of the International Union for 
the Taxation of Land Values and Free Trade. All records, 
manuscripts and the library are lost. A duplicate mailing list 
which was not burnt enabled the May issue of Land & 
Liberty to be posted to the usual subscribers. Fortunately, 
also, the precaution had been taken of dispersing the stock of 
publications for sale to a number of addresses in other parts 
of the country, and these publications are still available. 
Another piece of good luck is that the safe has now been 
retrieved, opened after much effort and the contents found 
intact. Our secretaries, Messrs. Madsen and Douglas, were 
quickly at work and at once found alternative accommoda- 
tion, and the new offices are now at 4 Great Smith Street, 
London, S.W.I. These offices adjoin the printers of Land & 
Liberty, and are also near the Houses of Parliament, and 
on both counts and in other respects are very convenient. 
The June number of the journal has inevitably been delayed, 
and so has the publication of the new 2s 6d booklet: "Why 
the German Republic Fell." This contains twenty-eight of 
the best articles from Land & Liberty in the past eighteen 
months, dealing with the economic cause of war and with 
economic freedom as the basis of social justice and world 
peace. It comes in remarkably useful at the present juncture 
and does in a sense make up for the loss of our back num- 
bers in the fire that took place. This will be out by the time 
these words are in print. 

[The book of which Mr. Owen speaks, "Why the German Re- 
public Fell," has just arrived, as we go to press. It will be reviewed 
in our next issue. 

Also arrived by recent mail too late, unfortunately, for inclusion 
in the current issue is an interesting article from Mr. J. W. Graham 
Peace, whom we take pleasure in welcoming back to the fold of 
LAND AND FREEDOM Correspondents after an absence of some years. 
(See News Notes and Personals in this issue.) Mr. Peace's article 
will appear in our next number. ED.] 



July August, 1941 



"Premature Land Subdivision a Luxury." A 60 page Report prepared 
by the New Jersey State Planning Board, Trenton, N. J. 1941. 50c. 

For those who would know more about premature land develop- 
ment as a factor in municipal finance problems it is recommended 
that a careful reading be made of the above entitled study. The report 
is well documented and admirably complements and corroborates the 
more theoretic findings and conclusions to be found in "Progress and 
Poverty." It brings us face to face with the housing evils that result 
from the unscientific system of land tenure now in practice. A re- 
grettable omission is that of any recommendation along the lines 
proposed by Henry George, but then, after all, perhaps only a George- 
ist can really "see through" the lop-sided city "planning" that now 
obtains. Nevertheless, it is only fair to say that the compilers have 
done a conscientious job in disclosing the ugliness of our housing 
system. Even their recommendations are good, so far as they go. 

Premature land subdivision is a natural concomitant of our present 
revenue policy, which unconsciously abets the speculative develop- 
ment of sites in areas not economically fit or ready for urban popu- 
lation. The consequent costly municipal servicing of such sparsely 
settled and distant points, with highways, sanitary and water systems, 
lighting, schools, etc., must invariably be followed by a vicious circle 
of higher taxes, special assessments, increased public debt, and bank- 

"Like unemployed people, these unemployed vacant lots become 
public charges when private sources of support dry up. Not only do 
they cease to pay their share of governmental costs, shifting the 
burden to properties which are still paying taxes, but in addition, their 
debts, in the form of unpaid special assessments, must be shouldered 
by the municipality. Thus many municipalities throughout the State, 
already acutely conscious of the high cost of unemployed people, are 
becoming aware of the high cost of unemployed lots." 

"These arrears mount to their greatest heights during depressions, 
when the reduced incomes of property owners generally are strained 
to the limit to meet normal taxes and their own fixed charges. Conse- 
quently these added burdens can be met in some cases only by the 
sacrifice of the essentials of life by people who had no part in the 
speculative ventures, and who could have reaped no benefits from 
them had they been successful, but who must nevertheless assume the 
costs entailed on pain of losing their own homes and places of busi- 

"Prematurely subdivided lands in New Jersey are sufficient to 
supply over a million 50x120 foot vacant lots, one for every family 
now resident in the State. Sample studies in nine suburban muni- 
cipalities show that 45 per cent of all vacant lots in those areas have 
been tax-delinquent for more than one year, most of them for more 
than five years. Assuming, on the basis of previous studies, that 
similar conditions are general wherever there is a large surplus ot 
subdivided land, it is estimated that at least 40 per cent of all vacant 
lots in the State are chronically tax -delinquent." 

"Further evidence of the vulnerability to financial collapse of 
municipalities suffering from excessive land plotting . . . reveals that 
12.4% of New Jersey's municipalities are under siate fiscal control." 
(I. e., under authority of a Municipal Finance Commission or Local 
Government Board, fiscal agencies created by the State to take over 
tottering communities). 

An enlightening disclosure brought out in the report is the liability, 
in many cases, of a town to pay to the County, State, and School 
Districts a tax based on its own inflated valuation of lots plotted 
from old farm and other rural types of land, which formerly as mere 

acreage bore no such fiscal burden. Despite the non-payment of taxes 
on these lots by the "real estate" developers, who have long since 
abandoned them, in many cases they are assessed on the town's tax 
rolls at as much as $36 a lot, whereas in fact they are entirely worth- 
less. The actual taxpayers of the community must of course pay for 
this folly. 

A large part of the report deals with the difficult and, in many 
instances, hopeless task of collecting tax arrearages. 

"Of the eight selected municipalities studied in detail, only six made 
sales of (tax) foreclosed and deeded properties in 1938 . . . None 
received prices even approaching the accumulated taxes and other 
municipal charges. Three of them collected about two-thirds of their 
lost revenue, one about a half, one about a third, one only seven 
per cent. It is impossible to judge how typical these 1938 sales are of 
the amount that might be recouped over a period of years by these or 
by other municipalities. But this and other scattered evidence seems 
to support the conclusions that few municipalities have recouped or 
will ever recoup any considerable portion of their lost revenue by 
sale or foreclosed or deeded properties." 

A rather remarkable phenomenon in the maze of contradictions 
resulting from our present social setup is the tendency of smart towns 
to discourage the construction of modest price dwellings. 

"In Teaneck, for instance, the intended use of land is carefully 
investigated. Houses of less than $5,000 or $6,000 value are not con- 
sidered municipal assets because of the low tax return in relation to 
the probable cost of municipal services to be rendered." 

It is indeed a peculiar state of affairs in which low level income 
parents are not encouraged to own houses in such places, since the 
cost to the town of providing education for their children is said to 
exceed the amount of real estate taxes collectible from the property 
they occupy. This will amuse Georgeists, who know that, with all 
taxes abolished except a single tax on land values, communities wou!8 
develop in keeping with natural trends and needs of population, being 
automatically removed from the problems which plague society today. 

In concluding our review and comment of this very able study of 
urban planning, we have purposely refrained from dwelling upon the 
various recommendations of the authors, for the reason that they 
are more ameliorative than curative. To be sure, the compilers have 
done their work honestly and with exceeding care, to the extent that 
it has been given to them to understand the problem. By the same 
token we can well afford to cooperate in any endeavor that has for 
its object the clearance of slums and establishment of better living 
quarters for all. Georgeists must be ever ready to submit their views 
to our modern government housing agencies. 



"Tragedie en France," by Andre Maurois. Collection "Voix de 
France, ' Maison Francaise, New York. 229 pp. $1.50. 

The Collection "Voix de France" presents works by expatriate 
French authors now residing in the United States since the fall of 
France. The present volume by Andre Maurois is the first of the 
series. In "Tragedie en France," Maurois one of France's most 
distinguished writers, if not the most distinguished presents his 
version of the great tragedy. 

Maurois concentrates on the political and military deficiencies of 
his country, and offers a timely warning to the remaining democracies 
to act swiftly and strongly. But throughout his excellent survey, we 
can sense another warning not to abandon the principles of Liberty. 
'We are reminded of Henry George's words : "We speak of Liberty 
as one thing, and of virtue, wealth, knowledge, invention, national 
strength and national independence as other things. But, of all these, 
Liberty is the source, the mother, the necessary condition." 

//v August, 1941 





You will have noticed by the last issue of The People's Advocate 
that 1 was not successful in the last South Australia elections in 
winning the Flinders seat in the House of Assembly a seat which 
1 have held for the past eleven years. There was a determined effort 
made by both political parties to prevent me from returning to the 
House. At various times during debates T have freely criticized the 
party men and shown that their ideas were not sound. As they had 
no effective answer to my criticism, both parties combined to see that 
I was not elected. They issued "How to Vote" cards, and both 
parlies put my name at the bottom of the list. I was at the top of 
the poll on the first preference vote, but when it came to a transfer 
of votes I was defeated. 

Although 1 have not won the seat I am not downhearted. There is 
a lot of educational work to be done for right principles, and I shall 
continue to do my part in this direction. Many voters are already 
regretting the vote they gave against me, and there will be further 
opportunities for doing \\ork in Parliament. A great number of elec- 
tors are carried away with the war hysteria, and thus easily led 
astray by unscrupulous party leaders. 

1 read with interest of the work being done in America for Henry 
George principles and regret that there is such a difference of opinion 
as to the best means of propaganda. There is work for all to do, and 
anything that will give publicity to our principles is, in my opinion, 
doing educational work for the Georgean doctrine. 
Adelaide, South Australia E. J. CRAIGIE 


The suffix "ist" and "ism" added to a name or a cause carries an 
implication of disparagement to the mind of the average person. 
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines an "ism" as a distinctive 
"system or practice usually disparaging." 

For example, the word "sophos" (Greek) means wisdom. Our 
word "philosopher" means one who loves wisdom, with no disparage- 
ment implied. On the other hand, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 
defines "sophism" as an argument intended to deceive or embodying 
a subtle fallacy; and "sophist" as a master of adroit and specious 
reasoning.- "Philosophism" is defined as "spurious philosophizing." 

"Ist" and "ism" imply something false, fallacious, spurious, adulter- 
ated, specious, subtle. The words "Georgeism" and "Georgeist" fall 
unpleasantly to the ear. Our diction would be improved by avoiding 
"ist" and "ism" when referring to the followers or principles of 
Henry George. 



In your Jast issue, Mr. A. G. Huie's article, showing that under the 
Sydney practice of exempting improvements and raising municipal 
revenue chiefly from land values, the value of land has continued to 
increase, and my article, arguing that land value taxation will ulti- 
mately take away the selling value of land, seem to be in conflict. 
That, however, is seen to be only a surface impression when the facts 
are analyzed. 

I- Sydney is the second largest city in the British Empire in white 
population, and being the principal trading center of Australia, its 
land values are great on both counts. 

2 Sydney's budget does not include either the cost of education 
or of police. These are considerable items in our civic budgets here ; 
but the State of New South Wales looks after these functions and 
they are paid chiefly out of income tax and especially out of a wage 
or payroll tax. Land in Sydney is therefore relieved of the incidence 
of these two heavy taxes, which would make it relatively more valu- 
able on a selling basis. 

3 New South Wales, unlike its sister State of Queensland, does 
not now levy a state land tax. Landowners in Sydney, however, pay 
their share of the Commonwealth, or Federal land tax. The Com- 
monwealth land tax, however, is not a heavy impost, being hut a 
relatively small percentage of Commonwealth revenue. These facts 
both contribute to keeping up land values in Sydney. 

4 Sydney's taxation system has contributed greatly towards mak- 
ing it the thriving and beautiful metropolis it is. It would seem in- 
evitable, however, that if and when the State and the Commonwealth 
see the wisdom of raising their revenues also on the use value of 
bud. the selling price of land and its assessment on that basis will 
disappear, and the necessity for the Woodward formula will arise. 
That may be some time in the future, but it should be gratifying to 
Georgeists to know that not only have we a real science of economics, 
but also a scientific methodology in applying our principles. 
Ottawa, Canada HERBERT T. OWENS 


In his criticism of my article, Mr. James Snyder says, in your last 
issue, that the "collection of rent" and the "taxing of land values" 
are projects so "different that one of them can wreck the best laid 
plans of Georgeists." I fail to understand the distinction. The rent of 
land is the income derived from the ownership of land which is in 
excess of the income derived from the best free land in production. 
The owner of rent-producing land can hire labor to work his land 
by paying a wage equal to the amount labor can get by working the 
best free land available; and merely by exercise of the sole function 
of ownership he can keep the difference between the wealth his better 
land produces and that which the poorest land in use would yield to 
the same quantity of labor. This difference is the rent of his land. 
This rent accrues to the landowner for the sole reason that his title 
of ownership is socially or legally recognized and enforced, not for 
any productive act of his. 

The market value of land is a mathematical function of its rent; 
it is caused by its capacity for yielding rent, which is the income the 
landowner does nothing productively to earn and which is what he 
sells when he sells the land. Land that is exchanged for wealth thus 
has its value set by the amount of rent it yields; and the amount of 
its value is precisely equivalent to that of any other investment that 
returns an income equal to the rent yielded by the land, speculative 
inflation apart. In the jargon of the economic writers, the value of 
land is its rent "capitalized" the calculation of what quantity of 
capital would return that quantity of income. To collect the rent of 
the land and to tax it at the full going income of its capitalized value 
are therefore one and the same operation by whichever name you 
call it. the effect is to pay the expenses of the state by taking the 
income yielded by the ownership of land ; or so at least I have always 
understood the matter. If Mr. Snyder has valid ground for distinc- 
tion of two processes named by the two phrases, I regret to say he 
has not made it clear enough for me to see. 

From a distinction that seems to me hollow. Mr. Snyder goes on 
to use two senses of the ambiguous word "value" as though they 
were interchangeable, and so arrives at an absurdity. He says, "If we 
rax- land rallies 100% the land, values disappear, we have neither tax 
base nor taxes, the government is bankrupt." If we tax land values 



July August, 194! 

100%, the marketability, the exchange value of the land disappears, 
but the capacity of the land to produce wealth, to produce an excess 
of marketable products over the production of the best available free 
land, is not necessarily diminished. This depends on that original 
productive quality of super-marginal land and on the distribution of 
population from which rents arise in the first place. If we tax land 
100%, its value as marketability is destroyed, but its value as pro- 
ductivity is unaltered. So long as the land whose marketability has 
been destroyed by the single tax continues to produce an excess of 
wealth beyond the cost of the labor and capital employed at rates 
determined by the productiveness of labor and capital on the least 
productive lands in use, just so long will the flow of rent available 
for the expenses of government continue. The problem of assessing 
the tax after the market values of lands have been destroyed is an 
administrative problem, doubtless a difficult one, but it is not one ol 
fundamental policy. The fundamental policy of the single tax aims 
at the destruction of the abuses inseparable from effective private 
ownership of land it aims at the substance of public ownership 
under the familiar forms and the nominal aspect of private control. 
\Ye must not be surprised if in destroying substantial private pro- 
prietorship we lose some of the administrative conveniences character- 
istic of the form. 

Mr. Snyder's view of the nature of rent appears to me to diverge 
very widely indeed from that of Henry George. If I understand him, 
he holds that rent is a consequence of certain explicitly productive 
functions of government (the building of bridges, power dams, etc.) 
which are exactly like in kind, though perhaps superior in scope, to 
those of private productive enterprise. These productive enterprises 
of government confer increased value upon the portions of land which 
they serve, and the increased income of these lands is the rent on 
which alone the government is to levy its taxes. 

If Mr. Snyder believes that the whole of the phenomenon known 
as "ground rent" or "economic rent" the total share of the social 
income received or diverted by the ownership of land, as distinguished 
from the shares received by capital and labor is a consequence of 
these activities of government, I think the point wants a great deal 
more support than he has given it. That phenomenon has been traced 
to other causes, and he would need at the least to show that these 
other causes are sufficiently characterized and specified by the 
formula: services of government. 

It is true that in a sense hind rent may be considered to be a value 
imparted to the land by the activities of government; that is, this 
value could not exist without the stability of social relations and 
productive processes characteristic of an orderly and regulated, a 
policed, community; and government may be viewed as the principle 
of cohesion, security, and regularity in the orderly society. But the 
same thing may be said for the other forms of productive income 
v.ages and the return for the use of capital. No regular voluntary 
productive operation could take place if society lacked rules that 
secured to effort and risk the enjoyment of some settled portion of 
their resulting product. The husbandman would soon weary of plant- 
ing if unchecked brigandage commonly robbed him of his ripened 
fruit; and to the degree that government protection induces the 
planting the fruit may be said to be a consequence of the activities 
of government. Government regularizes, enacts, and effectuates the 
modes in which the members of a society acquire and alienate their 
property, and in doing so may be considered the prime cause for the 
existence of all property not consumed at the very moment of pro- 
duction. Not only rent, but in this same sense wages and interest also 
are ''values imparted by government." 

This view of government is not so much inaccurate as it is too all- 
embracing to furnish us with answers to specific i questions about 

what distinguishes the separate phenomena of rent, wages, and inter- 
est. It is a logical principle that any one of the contributing conditions 
of a phenomenon may, within a given field of relevancy and in re- 
sponse to a given question, be isolated as the causative agent. If we 
ask the question, What portion of the wealth of society is due to the 
existence of government? the answer must be, AH of it it is the 
cause of whatever phenomenon would cease to exist in its absence, all 
other conditions remaining the same. The existence of an accepted 
social order is a ground condition for the production of any wealth 
whatever ; and it is the essential function of government to embody 
and make effective those regularities of conduct and securities for 
the production of wealth that express the stable will of society. If 
we ask, What acts of government cause the phenomenon of rent? it 
would be fatuous to respond that rent was caused by the building of 
roads, power dams, and such overtly productive, extrap'olitical 
services of government ; for the phenomenon of rent and rent-caused 
penury could exist in quite as virulent form as they do if govern- 
ment undertook none of these productive enterprises, though it 
could not exist in the absence of exercise of the genuinely political 
functions of government. Nor could society afford to leave the 
strong right arm of its organized will to subsist precariously by 
trucking and huckstering such avocative turnips and carrots, to the 
detriment of its essential functions. Universal wisdom is no more 
for the most stringently rationed of politicians than it is for the 
business men; but one private enterprise may sink without serious 
damage to the community, while a government forced to curtail 
its vital duties by the failure of an expected income from an unwise 
investment would keep society trembling on the brink of anarchy. 

No. The one service of government which affects rent is the 
"service" attended to by Georgeists namely, the service of regulariz- 
ing, legalizing, and securing the private receipt of rent the private 
appropriation of land : the power of excluding society from the land 
at will, of admitting society to the use of land only on condition of 
payment arbitrarily fixed, which evermore drives the landless laborer 
farther into the desert searching for a livelihood as his only alter- 
native to accepting a decreased share of the product his labor might 
bring forth on richer land. The total market value of all land is a 
consequence of this one governmental service, without which not 
even the bridgebuilding business could increase land values. This is 
the one truly political function which imparts value to the land, and 
the only possibility private landowners have of enjoying the superior 
income which their land affords them over the best free land, the 
best worthless land, is in the continued exercise of this one political 

The contention of Georgeists is that the exercise of this function 
by government unjustly enriches one segment of society, whose mem- 
bers have not turned a hand to produce this superior income, and 
unjustly pauperizes another segment whose members cannot live 
without access to the land and who by their productive labors create 
the wealth thus diverted to the unequally favored landowners. The-- 
further contend that the stupid and unsystematic imposition of the 
taxes required for the expenses of government increase the im- 
poverishment of the landless, both directly and by throttling the 
production and exchange of wealth ; and that both of these great 
causes of poverty would be abated if the government abolished all 
of the other taxes it now collects and imposed the full weight of its 
expenses upon the unearned income now accruing to private land- 

My article, to which Mr. Snyder's letter was a reply, considered 
the question whether this unearned income would be adequate for 
the expenses of government; concluding that it would be adequate. 
Mr. Snyder's only direct comment on this speculative question is in 

/K/3 1 August, 1941 



the following words: "It is true that rent would be insufficient fo 
all the present expenses of government"; but as he offers no con- 
siderations of his own to support this assertion, and as he reviews 
none of the considerations in the article from which it was concluded 
that rent would be sufficient, I am unable to see in what precise 
respect I have roused his disagreement. His own separate conclusion, 
that if. government were limited by law to collecting rents created 
by its own productive enterprises, and if its only expenses were the 
costs of its productive enterprises, then, given practical wisdom, its 
income would equal its outlay, is unassailable; but I cannot see that 
it sheds any light on the question whether true economic rent, the 
differential income of lands superior in productiveness to the best 
available free land, would be sufficient for the expenses of govern- 
Portland. Oregon RORERT SCHLEY 


Our President says: ''The principle of eminent domain permits 
the government to acquire or to use, for a fair and reasonable price, 
any property necessary for the proper functioning of the United 

Is that principle to be used only when the government wishes to 
make more up-to-date killing machines? Why not use the principle 
of eminent domain to buy the natural resources from the few who 
now own and control them, for the whole people, never to be sold 
again? Would that not add to the proper functioning of the I'nited 
States ? 

Is this idea at variance with the basic aims of the Georgeist 
philosophy? Why not write to Congress and the President, suggest- 
ing it? 
Philadelphia, Pa. GEORGE T. FELDER. 


Mr. Hodgkiss' "Australian View on Interest," in the November- 
December issue, agrees with Mr. Haxo (and "an avalanche of letters 
to the Editors") that interest is not due to the reproductive forces 
of N'ature. But notwithstanding this basic; scientific error he 
endorses the "Progress and Poverty" theory that "wages and interest 
ise together"; resting it upon the familiar proof (!) that wages 
and interest were high in the Gold-Rush field. Apart from the fact 
that Rents also were high, more careful consideration is vitally- 

The Georgeist teaching of increasing interest is obviously antago- 
nizing workers so as to practically prevent acceptance of the land 
rent remedy. Therefore advocates of the remedy must responsibly 
determine whether such teaching is true or libelous. 

When the remedy cuts off all land-investing, it is obvious that all 
savings of normally prosperous and provident people will have to be 
r-ed as capital, or else suffer natural wastage. This \vill naturally 
nerease the supply of capital available for business demand as com- 
pared with the present supply apart from land investments. And 
;ven under present less prosperous conditions "idle" savings mount 
ip enormously, safety being the main requirement. 

Interest yield to owners of capital must now be "equalized" with 
ent yield to owners of land (in the judgment of investors). But 
hen the alternative of land-investing is cut off, the law of supply 
and demand will naturally control, and scarcity alone can compel 
nterest. Of course capitalists may earn indefinitely by participating 
tvestments, but this has nothing to do with "increasing interest" 
o mere ow-ners of capital. 
Intelligent investors commonly recognize that "safe" interest to 

mere owners of capital does actually equalise with "safe" rent yield 
from land investments; and that only participation in business doings 
and risks gircs hope of further (indefinite) yield. No capitalists 
are converted to public collection of rent by this promising of in- 
creased interest, but workers are strongly (and wrongly) antagonized 
by advocacy of increasing incomes to do-nothing owners w'liether 
of land or capital. Business earnings apart from monopoly are 
naturally respected; confusing them with unearned income breeds 
Communism and Socialism. 


FRIEDA S. MILLER. Chairman of the Committee on Discrimination in 
Employment. New York State Council of National Defense, has 
requested LAND AND FREEDOM for a statement to assist in the cam- 
paign to crystallize public opinion on the principle of equality and 
non-discrimination in employment. We have submitted the following : 
"The fulfillment of the American way of life involves the provision 
that every person be granted an opportunity to earn his livelihood on 
an equal basis with every other person, and that no discrimination 
be made on account of race, color or creed. Where such discrimi- 
nation exists, an endeavor should be made to seek the cause and to 
remove it." 

FROM Josef Hoop, Chief of the Government of Liechtenstein, has 
come an appreciative acknowledgment of the article on that tiny 
country' "Liechtenstein, Land Without Army or Taxes," by Pavlos 
Giannelia which appeared in the November-December 1040 issue of 

READERS will note the addition of two Special Correspondents on 
the masthead of this issue A. G. Huie of Australia, and J. W. 
Graham Peace of Great Britain, the latter being restored after a 
lapse of some time. We regret being obliged to drop two of our 
other Correspondents J. J. Piklcr of Hungary, and Lasar Karai- 
vanove of Bulgaria. We are unable to communicate with them at 
the present time, but look forward to the day when we shall hear 
from them and be able to restore them as Special Correspondents. 

BERTHA SELLERS writes: "John F. Conroy, a late veteran, though 
perhaps not a conspicuous one, in the Henry George cause, formed 
a chain of about two dozen letter writers covering many cities in 
the country, contributing to many papers. It is proposed to reorganize 
this group and to greatly enlarge it. If any readers would like to 
join, please address: Bertha Sellers, 133 Ogden Ave., Swarthmore 

AMONG the most tireless writers of letters to periodicals and per- 
sons prominent in the political and educational worlds are H. W. 
Noren of Pittsburgh and J. Rupert Mason of San Francisco. Both 
men, and the many others who engage in letter writing, serve to 
keep before prominent people the fact that Georgeists are still in the 
field to secure a much-needed reform. 

O. B. COLLIER, a friend in Detroit, has commenced editing a new 
series of releases entitled "World News Analysis." A sentence in 
one of the releases suggests the aim of the series: "A straight re- 
porter may call it a day when the day's greatest catastrophe has 
been written up, but W N A believes that someone must ferret out 
the hidden news and expose it to the public eye." 

B. W. BURGER'S valuable collection of Henry George memorabilia 
was exhibited in the Annual American Hobby Show in the Hearns 
Auditorium, New York, July 14-26. Mr. Burger's exhibit included 
photographs and a bust of Henry George, autographed editions of 
vork, letters and notes, and other interesting material. It is Mr 
Burger's hope to stimulate interest in George by presenting the 
biographical aspect. 



July August, 1941 



Being an Anthology in Prose and Verse 
from England and America 


Contains inspiring quotations from Henry George, 

Washington, Lincoln, Patrick Henry. Gladstone, John 

Bright, and scores of others. 222 pages. 

Price, 25c a copy, Postpaid 



Speeches in the House of Parliament and in Edin- 
burgh, Scotland, on the subject of man's 
inalienable right to the land. 

Price, lOc a copy, Postpaid 

* * * 
Send orders to 


32 EAST 29th STREET 



The Gist of the Georgeist Philosophy 

Drop us a card and we will send this concise statement 
in one paragraph of 318 words by Rev. Pentecost. No- 
where else is so much said in such a short space, cover- 
ing the whole ground of the argument. This is pure 
gold. Don't fail to get a copy. 

Send Orders to 

P. O. BOX 105 


"An admirably clear and concise analysis, about one-third 
as lengthy as 'Progress and Poverty,' of the philosophy ex- 
pounded by Henry George some 60 years ago in that famous 
work . . . The present nation-wide concern with urban bhgh 
and slums gives timeliness to Mr. Haxo's (and Henry 
George's) chapters on the remedy and its application through 
land-value taxation." THE AMERICAN CITY 

"Gaston Haxo has much to offer for the defense of his 
country. He offers strong weapons against the economic dis 
enses that have threatened to tear down the fibers of the nation, 
and to destroy the political and economic freedom of the re- 
public. America's philosophy has been the philosophy of free- 
dom. Haxo makes clear what that philosophy is, upon what it 
rests, and by what means it may be preserved." 


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(Canada and Foreign Countries, $1.12 Postpaid) 

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The Henry George Congress 

Sponsored by the Henry George Foundation 

of America 

To be held 

September 29 and 30, and October 1, 1941 

at the 

Hotel La Salle, Chicago, 111. 
Be sure to attend. Bring your friends and your ideas.